VNU to Shed 4,000 Jobs, Agrees to Sell European Unit (posted 12/19)
VNU Group B.V., the parent company to U.S.-based VNU Business Media, said Monday it will undertake a new organizational and leadership structure that, among other things, will result in the shedding of 4,000 or just less than 10 percent of its 42,000 jobs worldwide.
Folio: Alert first reported the company's plans for a major staff reduction December 1. The company also said Monday it has agreed to sell its Business Media Europe group to 3i, a leading European private-equity and venture capital firm. VNU Exhibitions Europe B.V. was not included in the sale, the terms of which were not disclosed.
The announcements are the latest in a number of changes, which included new CEOs for both the parent company and its business media division, and a restructuring of the business media division, the company has made since a group of private equity firms purchased it for $9.7 million this summer.
Among the latest changes are:
- Plans to combine product innovation, research and development, and marketing into a single organization under the leadership of Susan D. Whiting, a 28-year VNU veteran who was CEO of the Nielsen TV ratings business and will now serve as executive vice president of VNU.
- Plans to transition to a unified, global client service organization allowing the company to present "one face" to its clients worldwide.
- Plans to centralize operational and IT functions in a new Global Business Services organization.
The company also said it plans to continue to invest in and grow its Nielsen Media brands including NielsenConnect, ACNielsen Loyality and Nielsen Media Research's Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement plan.
Last month, VNU Business Media said it was restructuring into six operating groups and brands to be overseen by five senior vice presidents. The new structure will eliminate VNU Expositions, and VNU eMedia and Information Marketing as separate divisions. The changes to both the corporate structure and business unit will take effect January 1.