Dwight Barns was named to become CEO of Nielsen Holdings effective Jan. 1, succeeding David Calhoun, the company said.
Calhoun will become executive chairman of the board of directors and the current chairman, James Kilts will give up that post but remain a director of the company.
Barns, known as Mitch, joined Nielsen in 1997. He is now president, global clients service. Previously, he was president of Nielsen's U.S. television ratings service. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he spent 12 years in marketing research and brand management.
"Throughout my 16 years at this company, I've been privileged to work side-by-side with talented leaders and associates in Nielsen businesses across the world. I look forward to continuing our work together to anticipate client needs with ongoing innovation and expand our footprint in developing markets, while consistently delivering growth and enhancing shareholder value," Barns said in a statement
"Nielsen is successfully implementing its global strategy, and the time is right to name the next leader to take the company to its next phase of growth," said Calhoun. "Mitch's strong track record at the helm of a number of key Nielsen business units around the world — combined with his vision and commitment to our strategic plan — puts the company on solid footing for continued global expansion and value creation."