HAARLEM, The Netherlands & NEW YORK – VNU Group B.V., a leading global information and media company, today announced that James M. Kilts, one of the foremost executives in the consumer products industry and a founding partner of Centerview Partners, will be appointed to VNU’s Supervisory Board.
Until October 1, 2006, Kilts was vice chairman of The Procter & Gamble Company, where he oversaw the integration of the P&G and Gillette businesses following the largest-ever merger in the consumer products industry in 2005. Before the merger, he served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Gillette Company, where he engineered a successful turnaround. Before that, Kilts was president and chief executive officer of Nabisco, which was acquired by the Philip Morris Companies (now Altria Group) in 2000. Before joining Nabisco, Kilts was head of Kraft’s $27 billion worldwide food business. He began his career in 1970 with General Foods Corporation.
“We are delighted to welcome Jim Kilts to our Supervisory Board, and to have an executive of his stature and experience on our team,” said David L. Calhoun, chairman of the Executive Board and chief executive officer of VNU. “Jim’s deep understanding of the consumer products industry will be a tremendous benefit to us as we look to better serve the growing information needs of our CPG-industry clients.”
VNU, through its ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research businesses, provides marketing information, consumer research and media audience measurement to virtually all of the top consumer products manufacturers and retailers on a global basis.
“As a long-time client of ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research, I know the critical role they play and the immense value they bring to the consumer-products industry,” said Kilts. “With the information needs of the CPG industry expanding exponentially, I look forward to working with VNU to develop new ways to help the industry use consumer and media information to win in today’s highly competitive global marketplace. The growth opportunities for VNU are enormous.”
Following his departure from P&G, Kilts co-founded Centerview Partners, a New York-based financial advisory and private-equity firm. In addition to Kilts’ appointment to the VNU Supervisory Board, which will become effective later this month, Centerview Partners will make an investment in VNU alongside the company’s other private-equity owners – AlpInvest Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Thomas H. Lee Partners – who acquired the company in May 2006. Details of Centerview Partners’ investment were not disclosed.