Employers at Nielsen have been informed that there will be staff reductions. The market assessment firm wants to keep its global headcount at the same level as it was a year ago. This is according to a report quoting an internal memo.
It happened after allegedly more aggressive hiring policies in 2021. These were implemented “to keep up with the higher-than-normal attrition rates in the first half of the year and for an array of product and global growth opportunities.” The move was linked to a shifting macroeconomic climate in the memo. The decision was made after Nielsen was sold to private investors last year.
According to various reports, the layoffs will affect hundreds of people across all departments. But the exact number of employees affected is unknown. Let us view the business in detail in this article.
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About the company
The company Nielsen was established in 1923 by Arthur C. Nielsen. He developed a method for evaluating competitive sales results that turned the idea of “market share” into a useful managerial tool. A group of private equity firms later bought the business on May 24, 2006. It was initially incorporated in the Netherlands.
The Nielsen Corporation was initially known as AC Nielsen or AC Nielsen and is currently known as The Nielsen Company. It is a multinational market research company headquartered in New York City, the United States. Chicago has regional offices in North America.
ACNielsen began its international expansion in 1939 and now operates in over 100 countries. It was a part of Nielsen Holdings as of May 2010.
Layoffs are expected at Nielsen
The company has decreased total staff to “roughly in line with how it stood a year ago.” This was in response to Nielsen’s declaration in December 2022 that it was restructuring its company into three global units. Also, it has announced the departure of five of the firm’s senior managers.
Nielsen was sold to a private equity group in October 2022 for an estimated $16 billion in an all-cash deal. Many senior executives will leave Nielsen due to the company’s decision to break into three separate units. They are Nielsen Audience Measurement, Nielsen Analytics, and Gracenote. This is according to the online publication AdAge towards the end of December 2022.
Following the restructuring, the overall workforce will decrease. A Nielsen spokesman said this is to focus expenditures on the company’s panel, product quality, and technical innovation. Earlier in January 2023, Inside Radio magazine announced a “sweeping reduction” in employee levels at Nielsen, including several layoffs.
In a statement to staff members, Nielsen CEO David Kenny explained that the employment decrease comes after a hiring spree. This is intended “to keep up with the higher-than-normal attrition rates in the first half of the year and many types of products and international expansion possibilities.”
The memo stated, “Since August, attrition has decreased as the macro-economic climate around us worsened. We needed to connect our investments with the best potential services and nations. It was because we were finalizing our 2023 operating strategy.”
Connie Kim, SVP and head of global communications at Nielsen declined to respond to a request for comment from Axios about the number of workers and departments affected.
The three pillars of our brand are panel, product quality, and technical innovation. They are being prioritized in this effort, according to Kim. “To make the move as easy as possible, Nielsen provides severance pay, outplacement services, medical coverage, and full 2022 bonuses to those eligible.”
As of December 31, 2021, Nielsen employs 15,000 individuals, including 1,000 part-time workers, according to its SEC filing. Yet, how many workers were used in the previous year is still being determined.
Nielsen’s Layoffs include Senior Audio executives
A trio of critical senior Audio division executives are among scores of layoffs at Nielsen as part of a sweeping reduction in force that began Wednesday. Among the casualties are:
1. Senior VP of Audio Customer Solutions Bill Rose, who spent a combined 42 years at Nielsen and Arbitron;
2. Senior VP, Sales Director of National Audio Services, Bruce Supovitz, with a combined 27 years at the two companies;
3. Senior VP, Sales Director, Western Region, David Chipman, a 22-year company vet
Including Brad Kelly, who was ousted as Nielsen Audio Managing Director in late December, half of Nielsen Audio’s senior managers have been let go.
Senior Vice President of Group Sales John Snyder, Senior Vice President of Business Development Rich Tunkel, Senior Vice President and Sales Director Laura Kutscher, and Senior Vice President and Sales Director Brendan Kane are some of Kelly’s direct reports who will still be working for the company as of January 4, 2023.
Will Nielsen’s rivals merge?
As the current Nielsen audience supremacy challenge enters its third year, various ad tech and audience measurement businesses continue to improve their deliverables. They have the goal of being the primary source of cross-platform audience data.
It will take a lot of work to overtake Nielsen as the primary source of measurement and replace it. A lengthy wish list of deliverables will be necessary for programmers and advertisers alike. It should be no surprise that developing a cutting-edge audience measurement company has taken some time.
For better or worse, Nielsen has long been the primary or sole source used by the media industry to estimate the audiences for advertising discussions. Over the past 35 years, there have been a few occasions when Nielsen’s dominance has been questioned. Most competitors are startups that provide an alternative audience measurement method.
Nielsen was purchased by private equity company Elliott Management last October for $16 billion. As a result, Nielsen will no longer have shareholders or release quarterly profit reports. The acquisition was made when Nielsen’s costs to improve its measurement capabilities were higher than in the past.
Following the acquisition, Nielsen’s new owners reported a significant reduction in staff. This included many senior-level executives working on product changes for a long time. In the statement, Nielsen emphasized the importance of maintaining product quality. It stressed investing in its panel and pursuing ongoing technological innovation.
Even with audience measurement providers, mergers and acquisitions often happen among media organizations. To create Nielsen Audio, Nielsen completed the $1.3 billion acquisition of Arbitron in September 2013. Rentrak, which counts TV viewers through set-top boxes, MVPDs, and box office and home video purchases, was acquired by Comscore in February 2016. It is a company recognized for internet measurement. The transaction was worth $767.7 million. Both acquisitions were made to improve cross-platform measurement capabilities.
Some have partnered with, invested in, or bought smaller measurement organizations to improve their capabilities during the past few years. Since most startups rely on outside funding, they can feel pressure to merge. They would be able to compete with category leaders due to the consolidation.
Competition is suitable for any company since it lowers prices through increased creativity in products. Advanced measurement capabilities, pricing, client relationships, business outcome capabilities, and methodological transparency are a few of the factors that will determine success.