Bata CEO Alexis Nasard is joining Kantar as CEO effective 30 December this year, bringing with him nearly 30 years of experience in the FMCG and retail world. Prior to Bata, he spent six years at Heineken, culminating in the position of president of Western Europe business and global CMO. He also worked for 17 years with P&G in a variety of marketing and general management roles.
Kantar was previously led by Eric Salama who stepped down this year and joined the board as a non-executive director. As a non-executive director, he continues to advise clients, work with Kantar management and aid with the development of key employees.
Nasard said throughout his career, Kantar's data, insights and advice informed many of the strategies, as well as communication and commercial plans his teams and him led. "As much as I understand Kantar’s heritage and reputation today, it is our future that excites me most. The combination of Kantar’s deep understanding of consumers around the world, our proprietary data sets and our growing expertise in advanced analytics and artificial intelligence puts us in a leading position to reshape the insights and consulting market, whilst offering clients superior analytics they can monetise," he said.
Kantar chairman, Adam Crozier, said in Nasard, the company has appointed a world-class CEO. "As a former CMO and client he understands the value Kantar delivers, and the role it plays in advising the world’s biggest consumer brands. Throughout his career, Nasard has built a reputation for innovation, creativity and operational excellence," Crozier explained.
He added that as the company transforms its business and position itself for growth, Nasard's leadership and international experience will be instrumental in fulfilling the ambition that it has for Kantar.
Last July, Bain Capital acquired 60% of Kantar for US$4 billion, and the move was said to have simplified and repositioned WPP for growth. As part of the deal, WPP retained 60% of net proceeds to reduce debt to the low end of the target leverage range of 1.5 to 1.75 times average net debt/EBITDA for 2020.
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