Outgoing Nielsen CEO Joins Blackstone

Nov 21 2013 | 10:09am ET

The Blackstone Group has hired Nielsen Holdings CEO David Calhoun to serve as a new executive focused on efficiency at its portfolio companies.

Calhoun, who is due to step down from the top job at Nielsen at the beginning of next year, was named head of portfolio operations at the alternative-investments giant. In his new post, Calhoun will advise Blackstone's portfolio companies and their CEOs, as well as advising on new deals.

Calhoun has earned a reputation as a turnaround specialist during his seven years at Nielsen, where he will remain non-executive chairman, and 26 years at General Electric, where he was once tapped as a possible successor to former CEO Jack Welch. He was part of the private-equity buyout of Nielsen in 2006 that included Blackstone.

In addition to leading the portfolio operations group, Calhoun will serve on Blackstone's management committee.

"I'm an operator at heart," Calhoun told The Wall Street Journal. "I love doing things quickly."

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