The dominant player for audience measurement of radio and TV in the U.S. has set its annual shareholders meeting.
Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns has set Tuesday, May 23 for the company’s once-a-year event, with a start time of 9am Eastern (2pm BST/3pm CEST).
Shareholders of record as of March 24 may participate in the annual meeting online, and may vote their shares electronically and ask questions during the meeting through the interactive website set for use on May 23.
It’s been a challenging six months for Nielsen shareholders, who saw shares in NLSN tumble more than $9 a share on Oct. 25 after the company revealed that its Q3 earnings missed many Wall Street forecasts.
As of 11:30am ET on Thursday (4/6), Nielsen shares were at $41.90 — its lowest level since November 2013.
Nevertheless, Nielsen says it is “dedicated to driving shareholder value by posting solid operating performance.” It said in a proxy statement that it has delivered “resilient business performance with sustained growth over the last three years” and in 2016 “made outstanding progress on the Nielsen Total Audience Measurement framework, with the syndication of Digital Content Ratings and the multi-phased syndication of Total Content Ratings.”
Additionally, Nielsen says it made “good progress” in its Connected System initiative. “Several charter clients are participating in the development process for this unique and powerful data integration, analytics and activation system,” it said.
But, Nielsen acknowledged that it experienced “slowing business growth” in Q3 and Q4 2016, along with lowered guidance ranges driven by performance in its “U.S. Buy Business.”
At the shareholders meeting, NLSN stock owners will be asked to vote for nine Board of Director nominees, each of whom will serve a 12-month term. These individuals include Barns, Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet, The Carlyle Group Managing Director James Attwood Jr., and former NBCUniversal EVP Lauren Zalaznick.
HOW MUCH DID MITCH BARNS MAKE IN ’16?
The proxy statement also revealed the salary of CEO Barns.
In 2016, Nielsen’s Compensation Committee maintained Barns’ annual incentive target at $2 million and increased his long-term incentive target from $6 million to $7 million — in line with the median compensation level for CEOs in Nielsen’s executive compensation peer group.
There was also an incentive bonus given to Barns. But, as a result of the company’s disappointing Q3 earnings, the Compensation Committee reduced it — from $3.5 million to $3 million. It has an equity grant value of $6.5 million.
Thus, Barns’ total compensation in 2016 was $10.1 million; he enjoyed a 33% increase in “realizable pay,” from $4.7 million to $6.2 million.