Kantar chief Alexis Nasard exits after just four months

Alexis NasardKantar’s new chief executive, Alexis Nasard, who joined the business in December, is leaving “by mutual agreement” after reportedly failing to get to grips with the company’s focus on data-driven services for business clients.

According to Sky News, senior executives at Kantar were informed of departure on Monday afternoon. It quotes one source who said both Nasard and the company had quickly realised that he was unlikely to be an “effective long-term fit” and had mutually agreed that he should step down.

Nasard, whose appointment was announced in October, is a former Procter & Gamble and Heineken marketing chief. Since 2016, had been CEO of the Bata Corporation, a family run business set up in 1894 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The firm claims to be the world’s biggest shoemaker by volume and has more than 5,300 shops in over 70 countries.

At the time, Kantar chairman Adam Crozier, the former FA, Royal Mail and ITV chief executive, said: “In Alexis we have appointed a world-class CEO. As a former CMO and client he understands the value Kantar delivers, and the role it plays in advising the world’s biggest consumer brands.

“Throughout his career Alexis has built a reputation for innovation, creativity and operational excellence. As we transform our business and position ourselves for growth, Alexis’ leadership and international experience will be instrumental in fulfilling the ambition that we have for Kantar.”

But even back then there was a hint that Nasard was looking too far ahead, when he said: “As much as I understand Kantar’s heritage and reputation today, it is our future that excites me most.”

What his future is now, however, remains uncertain.

Nasard was appointed to succeed Eric Salama, who announced late in 2019 that he would be stepping down for “personal reasons” after recovering from a stabbing in London last year.

Salama left the company he helped to build into a $4bn (£3.19bn) business in the spring, after new majority owner Bain Capital scrapped plans to keep him on until a successor was found.

Kantar declined to comment.

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