Data and insight consultancy Kantar has kicked off the year with a triple whammy of appointments to its UK leadership team, in a move which it claims will be instrumental in driving its ambitious growth strategy following the recent deal with private-equity firm Bain Capital.
First up Chris Morley joins from rival firm Nielsen to succeed Worldpanel managing director Tim Kidd, who is retiring after more than a decade in the role and 27 years at Kantar.
As MD, a role that covers the UK, Ireland and the US, Morley has been briefed to further develop Worldpanel Plus – Kantar’s smartphone-enabled shopper panel, claimed to be the UK’s largest live community of shoppers.
Having started his career at IRI UK, Morley moved to Nielsen in 2002, and worked in senior leadership roles across Australia, Vietnam and China. He spent nearly a decade in the Asia Pacific region before returning to the UK as group MD.
After leading the turnaround of the UK business, Morley was promoted to president of Western Europe, and then president of Nielsen USA, with responsibility for in excess of $1bn (£770m) revenue in both roles.
Next up is Dom Boyd, who joins as managing director of the UK insights division. The former Publicis Poke and Adam & Eve strategy chief will focus on helping the teams blend the best of Kantar’s knowledge and data. Boyd will report into Amy Cashman, co-chief executive of the insights division.
Kantar UK country leader Bart Michels said: “Chris and Dom join us to take up leadership roles for two of our largest business units, in our second largest Kantar market, the UK. As part of our overall growth plan, they will drive the growth of Worldpanel Plus and Holistic Brand Guidance – two strategically important offers for our clients. It’s great to be able to attract such market leading talent to the Kantar UK business to add to our enviable insights, data and consulting offer.”
Meanwhile, Kantar has also appointed former ITV chief financial officer and chief operating officer Ian Griffiths, as chief financial officer, replacing Robert Bowtell.
Griffiths, who retired from ITV last year, joins Kantar next week. Kantar chief executive Eric Salama, who is due to step down this year said Griffiths’ track record in public markets and “delivering strong returns for shareholders” would be vital as Kantar embarked on its “growth journey”.
WPP completed the sale of a majority stake to Bain Capital – in a deal which valued the company at $4bn (£3.19bn) – late last year.
Salama will remain in place until a successor is appointed, after which he will join the Kantar board as a non-executive director on a part-time basis to continue to advise clients and mentor key employees.
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