Nielsen to cut 3,500 staff

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Ratings group Nielsen revealed a new plan to cut costs that will result in the reduction of its global workforce by about 3,500 employees.

The company expects that plan to generate savings of about $250 million (€220.7m) annually after taking a 2020 pre-tax restructuring charge of about $150 million to $170 million dollars. Nielsen also estimates $40 to $50 million of non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges in the second quarter related to these planned exits.

In the plan, Nielsen said it will exit selected businesses and markets, but didn’t specify which: “[…] we have increased our focus on platform consolidations, further automation, optimising our global footprint, and ensuring that our resource allocation aligns with high-margin essential services,” said Nielsen CEO David Kenny. “Today’s plan encompasses, accelerates, and expands on those initiatives. These restructuring actions will further expedite our transformation to a more efficient, agile, and scalable organization and are designed to drive sustained margin expansion and increased cash generation.”

Kenny was paid $13 million in 2019.

In 2019 Nielsen announced plans to split into two companies, one focused on global media measurement, the other Nielsen Global Connected. The completion of the spinoff was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the deal is not expected to close till early 2021.

The company had been under pressure from active investor Elliott Management, which owns a 13 per cent stake.


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