The Blackstone Group has hired David Calhoun, the chief executive officer of Nielsen Holdings, as a senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations. Calhoun has overseen a team of 21 professionals within the portfolio operations group which works with portfolio company CEOs. Calhoun will work within the firm’s private equity business reporting to the global head of private equity, Joseph Baratta and will also be involved with strategic initiatives as a member of Blackstone’s management and executive committees.
Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that David Calhoun, the CEO of Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN), will join Blackstone as a Senior Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Portfolio Operations. Dave will oversee a team of 21 professionals within the portfolio operations group which partners with portfolio company CEOs to drive key value creation initiatives throughout our companies. Dave will work within Blackstone’s Private Equity business reporting to the Global Head of Private Equity, Joseph Baratta, and will also be involved with important strategic initiatives of the firm as a member of Blackstone’s Management and Executive Committees. Dave brings to Blackstone more than thirty years of public company leadership and global operational experience.
Dave joined Nielsen in 2006, shortly after the company was acquired by a consortium of private equity investors including Blackstone. Dave led the transformation of the company into a leading marketing information services company in the world. Under Dave’s leadership, Nielsen’s operating income improved from $0.8B at the time of the acquisition to $1.7B in 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 13%. He serves on the Board of Nielsen and will become Executive Chairman in January 2014. He also sits on the Boards of Directors of The Boeing Company and Caterpillar. He is the co-author with Rick Kash of the book “How Companies Win.” Dave graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979.
Before joining Nielsen, Dave served as Vice Chairman of The General Electric Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Infrastructure, the company’s largest business unit. During his twenty-six-year tenure at GE, Dave ran multiple business units, including GE Lighting, GE Employers Reinsurance Co., GE Aircraft Engines, and GE Transportation. Additionally, he held multiple operating, finance and marketing roles across the company.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, said, “We are delighted to be able to work more closely with Dave Calhoun, as he joins our team at Blackstone. He is one of the most talented CEOs we have ever worked with. We are excited to have him help guide our portfolio company operations as well as the strategic development of Blackstone itself.”
Joe Baratta, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Blackstone’s Private Equity business, said, “The key to continuing to generate outstanding returns for our investors is to drive transformational change in our portfolio companies. Dave’s thirty-year career as an operator of some of the world’s leading companies will greatly enhance our ability to help our portfolio company CEOs transform and grow their businesses. As the former CEO of one of our largest and most successful portfolio companies, Dave knows our team well and how to unlock value in private equity-backed companies.”
Dave Calhoun, CEO of Nielsen, said, “I am thrilled to be joining Blackstone. They are a recognized leader in the private equity industry and they have been an important contributor to The Nielsen Company’s success. I look forward to working with our portfolio company CEOs in every way I know how to build better companies and create added value for our fund investors.”
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our asset management businesses include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, hedge fund solutions, non-investment grade credit, secondary funds, and multi asset class exposures falling outside of other funds’ mandates. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.