WPP’s Kantar has hired Richard Ingleton to the post of CEO of its research unit TNS. Ingleton succeeds Eric Salama, who has been doing double duty as CEO of both TNS and its parent Kantar.
Salama retains his duties as Kantar CEO.
Ingleton joins TNS from Ernst & Young, where he was a partner who led the company’s global customer consulting practice for five years. Before that, he was head of consultant Accenture’s global marketing effectiveness practice. Earlier, he held roles at Virgin and Tata.
Salama credited Ingleton with having “tremendous impact with clients.” In prior roles, he added, Ingleton has built global practices that “generated tremendous loyalty.”
WPP bought TNS in 2008 for about $1.9 billion after a five-month battle with TNS management. The TNS executive team resisted the sale, saying at the time it was because WPP’s price was too low. But after 60% of TNS shareholders voted in favor of accepting the deal, TNS management relented.
Salama had been running both Kantar and TNS since May of 2011, when he took over CEO duties at TNS from Pedro Ros. TNS performance had slipped during the recession and the slow recovery when clients cut back on a lot of custom research assignments, one of the unit’s specialties.
Earlier this month, when WPP reported 2012 results, it acknowledged that parts of its consumer research business continue to struggle. “The central issue continues to be like-for-like revenue growth in the custom businesses in mature markets, where discretionary spending remains under review by clients,” the holding company stated.
But it also noted that custom businesses “in faster growth
markets and syndicated, and semi-syndicated businesses in all markets, remain robust, with strong like-for-like revenue growth.”
Ingleton stated that clients have shown "more and more interest in the value that comes from insight, research and big data.”