Mitch Barns — Former CEO Nielsen
Mitch is a former S&P 500 public company CEO and board director. Widely regarded for his leadership and experience, he believes in using data and analytics to create value across multiple industries. A forward thinking leader with expertise in identifying consumer and market trends, Mitch has a proven ability to see “what’s next” and reflect it in strategy.
Recently, Mitch led Nielsen’s transformation from a legacy professional services firm to become a digital, tech-enabled company. Under Mitch’s leadership, the company built a world class, 1000-person data science organization with automated data collection using AI and machine learning, 60 percent of its products moved to DaaS delivery, and with key alliances with Walmart, Google, Facebook, and Tencent. He also acquired 26 businesses (funded in part by 11 divestitures) to accelerate growth, create new revenue streams, and add digital and tech talent.
Prior to serving as CEO, Mitch led Nielsen businesses in North America, Europe, and Asia (China), serving clients in media and the fast-moving consumer goods industries. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, spending 12 years in brand management and market research. Mitch has a broad global perspective and has overseen operations in more than 100 markets.
As a CEO who inspires collaboration, Mitch brings clarity to organizations to drive execution and progress. Under his leadership, Nielsen was recognized by Chief Executive magazine for leadership, by Forbes for innovation, by DiversityInc for diversity and inclusion, by JUST Capital for corporate social responsibility, and by The Wall Street Journal as one of the “Best Run Companies of 2018.”
In addition to his board role with Nielsen, Mitch served as a director for Monsanto [NYSE: MON] from April 2016 until it was acquired by Bayer AG in June of 2018. He is a current director of CECP, a nonprofit association of CEOs encouraging businesses to be a force for societal good, and a former member of the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable.