Remembering the Innovative and Inspiring Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. (1919-2011)

Remembering the Innovative and Inspiring Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. (1919-2011)

Susan D. Whiting, Vice Chair, Nielsen

The recent passing of Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. filled me, and all of us at Nielsen, with a profound sense of loss. Those of us fortunate to have known and worked with Art will remember him not only as a technology pioneer and measurement science innovator, but also as a witty and wise mentor, a generous community philanthropist and a remarkably inspiring leader.

Like many from the greatest generation, Art served bravely in World War II, returning in 1945 to propel his father’s company into a new era of innovation and consumer insight. He spent his entire career with our great organization, leading it successfully for nearly two decades. In doing so he helped to build more than just the world’s leading market research business, he helped transform the way global businesses think about media and consumer behavior.

As a man of remarkable integrity, Art placed a premium on giving back to the communities in which he lived and worked. Throughout his career, Art gave generously to numerous causes held dear, like the Chicago Food Bank. He founded the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, and co-founded the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, where he also served as chairman emeritus. The list of community, university-based, and corporate boards on which he served is long and impressive – yet another inspiring aspect of his remarkable life.

During my last visit with Art in February, I was honored to present him with the first Nielsen stock certificate shortly after our public offering this year. His modesty, humor and sage advice that day and over the years will remain with me for many years to come.

The Nielsen name commands respect because of Art and his father’s incredible hard work, their vision and their tireless commitment to innovation and growth. Art’s passing reminds me of the great responsibility we carry as a company that bears his name: we know our actions will be part of the astonishing legacy he leaves behind.

The best way for us to honor Art is to continue to place innovation and integrity above all else as we serve our clients and our communities.