Nielsen Business Media CEO Robert Krakoff Dies Unexpectedly
Bob Krakoff, one of b-to-b publishing's best-known figures, died at his home Thursday, the Nielsen Co. announced this afternoon. He was 72.
Krakoff, who was CEO of Nielsen Business Media, joined that company in August, when it was called VNU Business Media.
In a memo to the staff, Nielsen Co. CEO David Calhoun said, "A publishing industry veteran, Bob was a consummate professional, a valued advisor and a wonderful friend. Since joining Nielsen late last year, Bob has made a strong impact on our organization, both personally and professionally."
Krakoff attended American Business Media's Jesse H. Neal Awards Thursday afternoon and "looked fit as ever," according to one source. Nielsen is expected to name COO Greg Farrar as interim CEO, a source said Friday.
Prior to his post at Nielsen, Krakoff had been CEO of Advanstar Communications and Reed Business Information, then known as Cahners Publishing. The Nielsen Co. (formerly VNU B.V.) was acquired by a consortium of private companies called Valcon Acquisition B.V. last spring.
In his short time running Nielsen Business Media, Krakoff made a number of changes. In November, he announced plans to restructure the company into "market-focused" groups. Under the plan, the company will now be broken into six operating groups and brands: marketing, film, music, retail, residential and commercial building design, and marketing services and travel, to be overseen by five senior vice presidents. The restructuring reflected the same market-centric approach he used when he was head of Advanstar.
Under Krakoff's leadership, the company also launched a Japanese edition of Billboard magazine and partnered with Burrill & Co. on a new b-to-b media company called Burrill Life Sciences Media Group.