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Karthik Rao Named CEO of Nielsen

4 minute read | September 2023

A 23-year veteran of nearly every aspect of Nielsen’s business, Rao will take the global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics into the future

David Kenny to become Executive Chairman

New York – September 14, 2023 – Nielsen, the global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics, announced today that Karthik Rao has been named CEO, effective immediately. David Kenny, who has served as CEO since 2018, will assume the role of Executive Chairman.  

“Nielsen has been my home for most of my career, and I could not be more excited for this new opportunity,” said Rao. “Providing our client partners, the ad industry, and content creators of all types, the most accurate information possible is our singular goal.  Nielsen invented measurement a century ago. In that time, the way audiences consume content has fundamentally shifted many times over, and we are committed to continuing to partner with our customers to lead that change. I am fortunate to work alongside the best in the business, around the world, as we address unprecedented times of transition in our business. Together with our talented employees, I look forward to positioning Nielsen for the next century and beyond.”

David Kenny said: “This is an exciting day for Nielsen and for me. I have been fortunate to lead this company through some extraordinary times in the past five years, working alongside Karthik for much of it. As I transition to my new role and my operating responsibilities come to an end, I hand over leadership to someone with extensive experience in knowing what Nielsen does best, backed by the skills and understanding to position the company for a vibrant future. He has my complete support and I wish him, and everyone at Nielsen, nothing but tremendous success.”

Nielsen is backed by Elliott Investment Management L.P. (“Elliott”), and Brookfield Business Partners L.P., together with institutional partners (collectively “Brookfield”).    

Since early 2023, Rao has served as CEO of Nielsen’s Audience Measurement business, responsible for driving and evolving Nielsen’s audience measurement in the midst of unprecedented disruption and transition. His primary focus has been on enabling a currency across all media distribution and consumption models globally. 

Prior to being named CEO of the audience measurement business, Rao served as Nielsen’s Chief Operating Officer. Before that he was the CEO of Nielsen Portfolio, leading the fully independent division comprising Nielsen Entertainment, Nielsen Gracenote, Nielsen Brandbank and the Nielsen Telecom businesses across all global markets.  

David Kerko, Head of Private Equity at Elliott, said: “We have spent the past five years engaged with Nielsen, and even more closely since the acquisition nearly a year ago. We have seen great progress already, and we want to thank David for all he has done to contribute to that success. Karthik is now the right leader for Nielsen, which is well positioned to evolve with and support the media ecosystem as it undergoes a period of dramatic change. Karthik’s expansive industry experience, deep client relationships, and proven track record make him ideally suited to manage this evolution and make Nielsen’s value stronger than ever.”

About Nielsen

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at and connect with us on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

About Elliott

Elliott Investment Management L.P. manages approximately $59.2 billion of assets as of June 30, 2023. Founded in 1977, it is one of the oldest funds under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm. For more information, please refer to the Elliott website at

About Brookfield Business Partners

Brookfield Business Partners is a global business services and industrials company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses that provide essential products and services and benefit from a strong competitive position. Investors have flexibility to invest in our company either through Brookfield Business Corporation (NYSE, TSX: BBUC), a corporation, or Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE: BBU; TSX: BBU.UN), a limited partnership. For more information, please visit

Brookfield Business Partners is the flagship listed vehicle of Brookfield Asset Management’s Private Equity Group. Brookfield Asset Management is a leading global alternative asset manager with over $850 billion of assets under management. More information is available at