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Michael Connor, head of VNU's media measurement arm, quits

MUMBAI: In a sudden turn of events, VNU, a leading global information and media company and the parent company of Nielsen Media Research, has announced the exit of Michael P Connors, a member of the company's executive board and chairman of its media measurement and information (MMI) group.

The exit comes in time with VNU's re-location of its headquarters from Haarlem, Netherlands to Nielsen's offices in New York, and at a time when Nielsen is the midst of a variety of new ventures, expansion projects and critical overhauls of many of its research systems.

Connor will now pursue opportunities as a CEO of a publicly traded company.

 

 

VNU although said that Connors would remain on the executive board until 1 April 2005 and will continue in capacity as Chairman and CEO of the MMI group until 30 June 2005, according to agency reports.

Describing Connor's contributions to VNU, chairman Rob van den Bergh said: "Mike Connors has led the MMI group to record financial results while expanding electronic measurement in television, outdoor and interactive games as well as in music, advertising and the Internet. He has helped me build a leading global business-to-business information and media company and I will miss Mike's leadership, energy and creativity on the executive board and in the MMI group. However, I completely understand and support his career ambition to become a CEO of a global public business."

Connors added, "Although there is no 'perfect time' to depart, as we close 2004 with our sale of world directories for EUR 2.1 billion and we complete our fourth consecutive year of record financial results in the MMI group, this seems like the right time. It's extremely hard to leave this great company - which is poised for solid growth and success - after helping build many parts of it over the past ten years. I will miss VNU and our great team of people but I believe this is the appropriate next step in my career."

 

 

Connors has agreed to continue to serve on the board of directors of NetRatings Inc, in which VNU holds a 63 per cent stake, and will serve on the board of the soon to be formed international joint venture, AGB Nielsen Media Research.

Connors successor in the MMI group is slated to be announced later in the year.

 

 

Connors joined VNU in 2001 upon the acquisition of ACNielsen Corporation where he served as vice chairman. He played a central role in the integration of ACNielsen into VNU and later in 2001 became chairman and CEO of the MMI group and a member of VNU's executive board. In 2003 he assumed responsibility for the directories group. Prior to joining ACNielsen, Connors held executive positions at American Express and the Sprint Corporation.

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