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Lowden Steps Down at TNS as Kantar Announces Restructure

October 31 2008

TNS CEO David Lowden has left after nine years with the firm, following the completion of WPP's takeover of the business. WPP's insight arm Kantar Group made no comment about Lowden's departure, but instead confirmed a series of senior management positions at TNS.

Eric Salama and Pedro RosLowden joined TNS as Finance Director in 1999, and following a spell as Chief Operating Officer, he was promoted to his most recent position in 2006. During his time with the group, he has been credited with restructuring the business to meet clients' demands for increased insight and analysis, innovation, and globalisation of services. Prior to joining, Lowden was Senior VP and CFO at Nielsen.

As part of the restructure, TNS veteran Pedro Ros is promoted to CEO of TNS Custom from his previous position as MD of Global Clients and Sectors. He will now directly report to Kantar Group Chairman and CEO Eric Salama.

The Custom Board will initially comprise Ros and three regional CEOs: Judith Passingham (Europe), Jamie Hall (Asia and Latin America) and David Kieselstein (North America), whose responsibilities remain unchanged.

Josep Montserrat, CEO of Worldpanel; Jean-Michel Portier, CEO of TNS Media; and Elaine Riddell, CEO of TNS Healthcare will all remain in post and will also report to Eric Salama.

As part of the integration process, Kantar has established an Integration Team which will be led by Mike Gettle, previously CFO of Millward Brown.

Salama commented that one of the key rationales behind the decision to acquire the business was its talent. 'Pedro Ros has been a key part of the success of the company and with the other senior management remaining in place at TNS, I am confident that The Kantar Group will firmly establish itself as the world's leading market research and insights organisation,' he added.

Four new members have also been added to the TNS Board and these are: Salama; Robert Bowtell, CFO of the Kantar Group; Paul Delaney, Treasurer off WPP Group; and Chris Sweetland, Deputy CFO of WPP all take up seats on the TNS board.

Yesterday, through the new www.kantargrouptns.com web site, both Salama and WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell extended a welcome to TNS staff, and acknowledged that while it may take time to adjust from being competitors to colleagues, the priority must remain focussed on client service.

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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