Nielsen CEO David Kenny’s Pay Rose 29% to $13.8 Million

David Kenny, chief executive officer of Nielsen Holdings Plc, speaks during the Bloomberg Sooner Than You Think technology event in Singapore, on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
Nielsen CEO David Kenny (Image credit: Paul Miller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Nielsen CEO David Kenny’s total compensation for 2021 was $13.8 million, up 29% from the previous year, according to Nielsen’s proxy statement, released Tuesday.

Kenny took a paycut in 2020, a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected most businesses. Kenny received $12.9 million in compensation during 2019.

Nielsen last month agreed to be acquired by a group of private equity firms in a deal worth $16 billion.

Kenny got his raise as Nielsen went through a challenging year as it was found to have under-counted TV viewing during the pandemic and lost its accreditation from the Media Rating Council, opening the door to a group of new competitors.

In the proxy statement, Nielsen cited Kenny’s achievements for the year, including guiding the company to 4.9% revenue growth and 5.4% adjusted EBITDA growth. He also sold off Nielsen’s Global Connect business, and met product goals for CTV measurement and the alpha version of Nielsen One for advertisers, the part of the company's new cross-platform measurement system. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.