Press Room

Nielsen Vice Chair Susan Whiting Adds Chief Diversity Officer Responsibilities

The Nielsen Company Elevates Diversity to The Office of the CEO

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 14, 2010 — The Nielsen Company, the global leader in providing insights into what consumers watch and buy, today announced that in addition to her oversight of the company’s relationships with global clients and corporate functions, Vice Chair Susan Whiting will assume additional responsibilities of Chief Diversity Officer, and will continue to report to Nielsen CEO David Calhoun.

Diversity is critical to Nielsen’s ability to provide its more than 10,000 clients with a complete understanding of consumers worldwide.  The Nielsen Company’s unmatched consumer insight requires representative panels and meaningful relationships with the spectrum of diverse communities in the markets where the company and its clients operate. In assuming these responsibilities, Whiting will also focus on improving the diversity of The Nielsen Company’s leadership ranks, global workforce of more than 35,000 as well as increasing purchasing from diverse suppliers.

“Understanding and promoting diversity is critical to our business because it enables us to better meet the needs of our clients,” said Nielsen Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun.  “Susan has demonstrated meaningful leadership in making diversity a business priority and her leadership of these efforts within the Office of the CEO will allow us to assess and direct our efforts from the highest level of our company.”

“Increasing our diversity will improve the performance of The Nielsen Company across the board, with clients, associates, local communities, shareholders and public officials,” said Whiting. “I’m delighted to formally add these initiatives to my responsibilities.”

At Nielsen, Whiting pioneered the company’s formal diversity programs, including Employee Resource Groups, diversity-based recruitment and development programs.  Whiting was also instrumental in the formation of Nielsen’s external Advisory Councils, including the African American Advisory Council, the Asian Pacific American Advisory Council, and the Hispanic Latino Advisory Council, which provide a forum for direct communication and engagement between The Nielsen Company and their respective communities.

A member of The Nielsen Company’s Executive Council, Whiting was a recipient of the 2009 Women Who Make a Difference Award from the International Women’s Forum. In 2007, she was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as one of their “Women to Watch,” and was named that same year by Crain’s New York Business as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in New York City.

Whiting is a vice chair of the Corporate Fund Board of the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, and sits on the Board of Directors for Wilmington Trust Corporation, MarkMonitor, The Ad Council, and Denison University. She is also a recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Outstanding Female Role Model award from the NBA Wives Association, the Women’s Venture Fund Highest Leaf Award and the President’s Award from the Imagen Foundation.

Nielsen is committed to accurately measuring a broad range of consumer behavior worldwide.  This includes what people watch on television, what books or periodicals they read, videos they buy, films they watch, music they listen to, where they shop and what consumer goods they buy, and what they listen to on radio.  Nielsen first began tracking consumer behavior in 1923 when the company was founded by a 26-year-old engineer named Arthur C. Nielsen.  

The Nielsen Company’s Commitment to Diversity

At Nielsen, diversity is a business imperative. Effectiveness at embracing the talents of people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives is critical to the company’s continued success in providing clients with unmatched information and insights they need to succeed.  Nielsen works with communities to ensure accurate representation of their consumer behavior through participation in Nielsen’s consumer panels and samples.  The Nielsen Company also operates a Supplier Diversity Initiative to build collaborative alliances that provide minority and women-owned business enterprises with meaningful opportunities to grow their business, while helping Nielsen achieve strategic business goals and deliver customer excellence.