NEW YORK Nov 21 Blackstone Group LP said
Thursday it had hired David Calhoun, chief executive of
television ratings company Nielsen Holdings NV, to work
with the bosses of the private equity firm's companies in order
to deliver more value.
Calhoun, who joined Nielsen in 2006 shortly after it was
acquired by a Blackstone-backed consortium, will become head of
Blackstone's private equity portfolio operations and sit on the
firm's management and executive committees. He will be executive
chairman at Nielsen beginning in January.
"He is one of the most talented CEOs we have ever worked
with. We are excited to have him help guide our portfolio
company operations as well as the strategic development of
Blackstone itself," Blackstone co-founder and chief executive,
Stephen Schwarzman, said in a statement.
Nielsen's operating income jumped from $800 million at the
time of the leveraged buyout to $1.7 billion in 2012 under
Calhoun's leadership, Blackstone said.
KKR & Co LP, which invested in Nielsen alongside
Blackstone, disclosed in its third-quarter earnings that it has
so far made 2.5 times its money on that investment as of the end
of September. The private equity consortium, which includes
Carlyle Group LP and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, has been
gradually selling shares in Nielsen since taking it public in
A Virginia Tech graduate, 56-year-old Calhoun also served
as vice chairman of General Electric Co and president and
CEO of GE Infrastructure, the company's largest business unit.
He sits on the boards of Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc
Blackstone, an alternative asset manager with $248.1 billion
in assets, had $62.6 billion in private equity holdings as of
the end of September. Its portfolio companies include SeaWorld
Entertainment Inc, Hilton Worldwide Inc and Weather