Kantar CEO exits after just four months, but Numerator acquisition is still on
Alexis Nasard is stepping down as CEO of Kantar after only four months in the job, the company confirmed, saying the “board has concluded that the nature of the Kantar role is not the long-term fit he and the board had anticipated.”
Sky News, which initially reported the departure, cited unnamed people inside Kantar who said the consumer-marketing background of Nasard, a former Heineken chief marketing officer and Procter & Gamble Co. executive, was at odds with the culture at the large data-driven research company.
Nasard was hired last October after private equity firm Bain Capital bought a controlling interest in Kantar from WPP in late 2019. Deputy CEO Ian Griffiths will lead Kantar until a new CEO is appointed, and Nasard will “be available” during a transition period until July 1, the company said.
News of the departure comes only a week after Kantar announced a $1.5 billion deal to acquire Numerator, which tracks online and offline product sales, and surveys panels of purchasers using mobile devices. Numerator has seen growing business with big packaged-goods marketers and investors in recent years. Like Kantar, Numerator also tracks brand media spending.
Nasard’s departure doesn’t appear to imperil the acquisition. A person familiar with Kantar said the deal was in discussions prior to Nasard’s arrival. And, in a statement, Kantar Chairman Adam Crozier said: “We have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Numerator, a transformational investment.”
Crozier also said Kantar has appointed other executives to key positions, simplified its operating model and has sales running ahead of first-quarter 2020 levels and management plans.