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Krakoff is New President & CEO of VNU Business Media USA

Darlene Gudea
, Publisher & Editor
August 8, 2006
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By Darlene Gudea, Publisher & Editor and HIl Anderson, Senior Editor

Haarlem, The Netherlands - Robert Krakoff has been named President & CEO of VNU Business Media USA, effective immediately, succeeding Mike Marchesano, who takes on a new corporate role. This is the third of the nation’s three largest B-to-B media companies that Krakoff has headed during his career. Krakoff was Chairman and CEO of Advanstar, Inc. until 2004, and Vice Chairman of Reed Elsevier USA., a company where he had spent 23 years.

Marchesano will lead the Project Forward program of VNU as its Executive VP and Chief Transformation Officer. Project Forward is a three-year program of VNU aimed at funding future growth of the company by leveraging resources, enhancing margins and reducing costs. As part of program, the company is forming “corporate centers of excellence” to streamline and standardize administrative, IT, real estate, facilities management, purchasing and outsourcing functions. Marchesano will report to Rob Ruijter, CFO and interim CEO of VNU.

Marchesano joined VNU in August 1999 as president of Bill Communications.   In June 2001, he was named president and CEO of VNU Business Media USA, responsible for VNU’s business publications and trade shows.  Earlier, Marchesano spent 22 years with media auditing firm BPA International, eventually rising to president and CEO.

Today’s management announcement was the biggest announcement coming out of VNU since its sale to Valcon in May in what has become the largest leveraged buyout in B-to-B media history. The 100-percent acquisition, valued at $9.7 billion,  turned VNU into a privately held company, which Valcon agreed to keep intact for 18 months after the sale. Valcon is a private-equity group comprised of  funds of AlpInvest Partners NV, The Blackstone Group LP, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP and Thomas H. Lee Partners, LP.

VNU has a stable of 52 trade events run worldwide by its VNU Expositions unit, including GlobalShop, Hospitality Design, Medtrade and ShoWest. It also holds stakes in about 58 other events.Trade show revenues in the U.S. climbed 10% in 2005, as the group launched 10 new events last year. VNU Expositions Asia continued to expand its activities in China, nearly doubling revenues there.

VNU Business Media publishes Adweek, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.


The company employs more than 41,000 people worldwide and has corporate headquarters in both the Netherlands and in New York. There was no immediate word of any plans to transfer or consolidate headquarters operations.

More details will be published as they become available ......

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