Krakoff, 72, died suddenly last night in his apartment in Boston, according to a memo distributed this morning to Nielsen Co. employees by chairman-CEO David Calhoun, who did not provide any more details.
“Since joining our organization late last year, Bob has made a strong impact on our organization, both personally and professionally,” the memo said.
Krakoff was a fixture in business publishing for decades. Prior to joining VNU he was chairman-CEO of media consulting firm Blantyre Partners. For years he ran Advanstar Communications and was also a former vice chairman of Reed Elsevier. He was also chairman of American Business Media in 2003-04.
“He was a giant in our business and bigger than life,” said Gordon Hughes II, president-CEO of ABM. “His contributions were not just for the companies he ran, but he was a leader for the industry.” Hughes said Krakoff was instrumental in developing the CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising) Awards and ABM’s Business Information Network, which tracks ad spending on business media.
“He was just a very dear friend,” Hughes said.
In the last several months Krakoff engineered several moves designed to derive more value out of Nielsen Business Media, including the sale of Sporting Goods Business, the launch of Hospitality Design-Asia Pacific & Middle East and a partnership with Burrill & Co. to form Burrill Life Sciences Media Group.