Mr. Calhoun will oversee a team of 21 professionals within the portfolio operations group which partners with portfolio company CEOs to drive value creation initiatives. He will also be a member of Blackstone’s Management and Executive Committees. Mr. Calhoun will report to Joseph Baratta, Blackstone’s Global Head of Private Equity.
“The key to continuing to generate outstanding returns for our investors is to drive transformational change in our portfolio companies,” said Mr. Baratta. “Dave’s thirty-year career as an operator of some of the world’s leading companies will greatly enhance our ability to help our portfolio company CEOs transform and grow their businesses. As the former CEO of one of our largest and most successful portfolio companies, Dave knows our team well and how to unlock value in private equity-backed companies.”
Mr. Calhoun joined Nielsen in 2006, shortly after the company was acquired by a consortium of private equity investors including Blackstone. He led the transformation of the company into a world leading marketing information services company. During Mr. Calhoun’s tenure at Nielsen the company’s operating income improved from $800 million at the time of the acquisition to $1.7 billion in 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 13%. Mr. Calhoun serves on the Board of Nielsen and will become Executive Chairman in January 2014. He also sits on the Boards of Directors of The Boeing Company and Caterpillar.
Before joining Nielsen, Mr. Calhoun served as Vice Chairman of The General Electric Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Infrastructure, the company’s largest business unit. During his twenty-six-year tenure at GE, Dave ran multiple business units, including GE Lighting, GE Employers Reinsurance Co., GE Aircraft Engines, and GE Transportation.
“We are delighted to be able to work more closely with Dave Calhoun, as he joins our team at Blackstone. He is one of the most talented CEOs we have ever worked with. We are excited to have him help guide our portfolio company operations as well as the strategic development of Blackstone itself,” said Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. The firm’s alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge fund solutions, credit-focused funds and closed-end funds. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Blackstone is based in New York (www.blackstone.com).
“I am thrilled to be joining Blackstone. They are a recognized leader in the private equity industry and they have been an important contributor to The Nielsen Company’s success,” said Mr. Calhoun. “I look forward to working with our portfolio company CEOs in every way I know how to build better companies and create added value for our fund investors.”
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-22-13