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GCP-backed The Stable adds ex-Nielsen CEO to board

The Stable, a consumer brand agency that is backed by Growth Catalyst Partners, has named Mitch Barns to its board of directors.

The Stable, a consumer brand agency that is backed by Growth Catalyst Partners, has named Mitch Barns to its board of directors. Barns is the former CEO of Nielsen. In April 2020, The Stable announced it was merging with Kreative Sales & Marketing, an Arkansas-based retail agency.


Minneapolis, MN, May 12, 2020 – The Stable, a leading commerce agency that supports consumer brands across brick and mortar, eCommerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels has appointed former Nielsen CEO, Mitch Barns to the Company’s Board of Directors.

During his 5-year tenure as CEO of Nielsen, Mitch led the company’s transformation from a legacy marketing and media information services firm to a digital, tech-enabled company leveraging data science, automation, AI, and machine learning. While he was CEO, Nielsen acquired 26 businesses to enable growth and add digital and tech talent. Today, Nielsen is an S&P 500 company with over 45,000 employees operating in 106 countries and over
$6 billion in annual revenues.

Prior to his role as CEO of Nielsen, Mitch lived and worked on three continents and held leadership roles across all major parts of Nielsen’s business, including overseeing the worldwide client service organization, President of Nielsen’s U.S. Media business, Greater China business in addition to leading business units in the U.S. and Europe focusing on new product innovation and advanced analytics.
Mitch currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Leadership Network and operates Second Half Advisors, a firm he founded in 2019 advising and supporting fast growing businesses and non-profits.

“Our team is thrilled to have Mitch join our Board of Directors. His deep consumer analytic and insights background, partnered with his global business experience will add a tremendous amount of value to us and our brand partners as we continue to build out a world class agency,” said The Stable’s CEO, Chad Hetherington.

The Stable offers full-service retail strategy, representation, channel management, social & digital marketing, creative and product development services on behalf of consumer brands like quip, Ring & Califia Farms at retailers including Target, Walmart & Amazon.

In April 2020 they announced a merger with Kreative Sales & Marketing, an Arkansas based retail agency and a new investment by middle market growth equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners (GCP). The combined company now employs 100+ people with offices in Minneapolis, Bentonville, Seattle, and Austin.

“I’m incredibly excited to be working with the talented team at The Stable and Kreative. Their unique approach to leveraging various data sources to drive commerce is impressive. I look forward to collaborating with them to share my knowledge and experience as they continue to build out an industry leading offering for their brand partners,” says Mr. Barns.

To learn more about The Stable and Kreative, visit & www.kreative-

About The Stable
The Stable is a fully integrated consumer brand agency helping businesses activate across all channels of commerce, with offices in Minneapolis, Seattle & Austin. To learn more about The Stable, please visit

About Kreative
Kreative is a Bentonville, Arkansas based sales and marketing firm that helps CPG brands launch and manage their business at Walmart, Sam’s Club & Costco. To learn more about Kreative, please visit

About Growth Catalyst Partners
Growth Catalyst Partners is a middle-market private equity firm focused on information, marketing, and tech-enabled services businesses. GCP’s strategy involves targeting growth segments of industries and identifying market-leading companies with breakout potential. GCP partners with top executives within those industries and provides capital and expertise to the incumbent management teams of the targeted businesses. GCP was founded by veteran private equity investor Jim TenBroek and leading investment banker Scott Peters, who have led hundreds of transactions and successful investments in services businesses for over 20 years. For more information, visit