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November 15, 2022

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1 big thing: Nielsen CFO will leave in January

Illustration of the Nielsen logo with all shapes pointing down.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Nielsen CFO Linda Zukauckas is leaving the company, according to an internal memo.

Why it matters: Zukauckas played a critical role for Nielsen during its transition from a public company to being acquired by a private equity consortium, which was just completed last month, and its sale of NielsenIQ, Kerry writes.

Driving the news: Zukauckas will leave in mid-January, according to a memo CEO David Kenny wrote last month. She joined Nielsen in 2020 from American Express.

  • "It was exactly two years ago that Linda helped usher us through the deal to sell our consumer goods data unit to Advent International," Kenny wrote.
  • Nielsen has begun a search for her replacement with internal and external candidates, per the memo. The company declined to comment.

The big picture: Nielsen is under pressure to modernize its business.

  • Entertainment giants are striking deals with new measurement vendors that they think can better capture the size and engagement of their digital and TV audiences.
  • Still, Nielsen has been able to remain competitive, striking landmark deals with Netflix and Amazon to measure their streaming efforts.

What we're watching: Zukauckas' departure comes as the company is grappling with an accreditation suspension as of last September.

  • The Media Rating Council, which serves as the de-facto watchdog and auditor for the media industry's metrics, voted to keep Nielsen's accreditation status suspended, as Ad Age first reported.
  • "MRC continues to actively work with Nielsen on a path to address the remaining issues so that a consideration of reinstatement of accreditation to the National TV service may occur relatively soon," David Gunzerath, SVP and associate director of the Media Rating Council, said in a statement.

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