Nielsen Promises Multimillions To Re-up CEO Calhoun


As it moves toward an IPO, Nielsen has added three years to CEO David Calhoun's contract. In the process, Calhoun gets a hefty signing bonus and jump in his base salary.

The new deal runs through 2014. The previous agreement was scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. The new deal comes with a $6 million signing bonus, while Calhoun's base salary goes from $1.5 million to $1.625 million. However, the signing bonus must be repaid by Calhoun if he leaves the company for any reason before Jan. 1, 2013.

Nielsen disclosed the new agreement, which went into effect in late October, in an amended pre-IPO government filing last month. Nielsen, controlled by a group of private-equity investors, has indicated that it will look to net $1.66 billion in an IPO.

Calhoun joined Nielsen in 2006 after a lengthy tenure at General Electric, where he was CEO of multiple units, including ones involving aircraft engines and insurance.



Calhoun's new Nielsen deal also comes with the potential for a better payout, should he be terminated under certain circumstances during the length of the deal.

Both the previous and current deals prevent Calhoun from hiring Nielsen employees, or competing with the company, for a period of two years after his departure. There are also non-disparagement clauses.

Outside salary and annual bonus, Calhoun's original 2006 deal came with commitments that he would receive payments of $29.5 million by January 2012.

An additional payout that could exceed $14.5 million is also coming by that time. The new deal adds $3 million to that amount, which will come after January 2012.

In the 2006 deal, Calhoun received millions of stock options in connection with his investing $20 million of his own money in Nielsen when he joined.

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