Karthik Rao is Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen, the global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. He was appointed to this role in September 2023.
A 23-year veteran at Nielsen, Karthik has held a variety of leadership roles spanning the company and the globe. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer, Audience Measurement. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer, responsible for driving a global product-driven technology transformation.
Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Product & Technology Officer for Nielsen Global Media, where he led the International Media product and technology teams. He was also CEO of Nielsen Portfolio, where he led the fully independent division, comprising Nielsen Entertainment, Nielsen Gracenote, Nielsen Brandbank and Nielsen Telecom businesses across all global markets. He led Gracenote during its acquisition and integration by Nielsen, which included building Gracenote’s management team, aligning its strategy, and driving growth across key markets and segments.
Prior to Gracenote, he served as President, Expanded Verticals, and led the teams serving our advertiser and agency clients. Earlier in his career, Karthik was Executive Vice President of Digital Enablement, where he oversaw a global transformation program. He also led Nielsen’s Media Analytics business, which delivers deep analytical insights that help media companies with their ad sales and programming activities.
As head of Nielsen China, Karthik oversaw the company’s initiatives towards China becoming one of the company’s fastest growing markets for Nielsen. Karthik began his career as an account executive at Ogilvy & Mather in India.
Currently, Karthik serves on the Board of Directors for Avantax.
He holds a degree in Economics from Loyola University in Chennai and an MBA from Illinois State University.