Robert Sawatzky
Oct 14, 2021

Nielsen appoints new APAC president

The media analytics company taps Disney's former regional leader and past Singapore IMDA board member Rob Gilby to lead APAC growth.

Nielsen appoints new APAC president

Analytics and measurement firm Nielsen has hired Robert (Rob) Gilby to the newly created role of Asia-Pacific president, beginning October 18. Gilby is a media industry veteran in the region where he has lived and held senior leadership positions for the past 25 years. 

The brand new role reflects a special emphasis from Nielsen on future growth in APAC.  

“Rob’s appointment is a signal to the APAC media industry that we are committed to and investing
heavily into the region," said Sean Cohan, Nielsen chief growth officer and international president.

Gilby previously served as The Walt Disney company's managing director for Southeast Asia in Singapore as well as Disney's APAC leader of media distribution out of Hong Kong. Prior to that, he held senior roles at Turner Broadcasting and PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Most recently, Gilby was international head of education technology company Age of Learning. 

Tasked with opening up new business relationships and opportunities across Asia-Pacific, Gilby's role will be to continue Nielsen's evolution from being known as a TV audience measurement company to one that helps marketers better understand their audiences and cross-media behaviours.

"APAC has entered a new growth era," Gilby said. "Cross-media marketing is the future as audience viewing behaviours evolve across mobile, streaming, social, and TV platforms. There are unprecedented opportunities for brands, marketers and advertisers."

The new emphasis on Asia and cross-media audiences comes as Nielsen experiences a severe setback in its US TV ratings business following the loss of its accreditation for national and local TV ratings. In a letter to clients last month, Nielsen CEO David Kenny explained how the firm was focused on evolving measurement to reflect how people really consume media with true comparability and better inclusion and representation of all peoples in measured audiences. He noted it was "critical to continue building a media future that accurately measures and reflects the consumer cross-platform journey and keeps pace with rapid technological advancements." 

In a nod to Nielsen's new direction, Gilby added: “This is such a transformational time at Nielsen. It has evolved its business offering to uniquely help marketers drive growth with accurate and real time data and analytics, with the confidence that every dollar is spent efficiently and effectively."

"I'm really looking forward to helping our clients answer questions beyond reach, to navigate audience behaviours and the channels, platforms and tactics that drive the best results," he concluded.

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