Netherlands-based Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN) will soon have a new CEO.

Early Wednesday morning, the global information and measurement company announced that Chief Executive Officer David L. Calhoun will retire from the role of CEO Jan. 1, 2014. He will be replaced by Nielsen executive Dwight M. ("Mitch") Barns, a 16-year veteran of the company. Upon leaving the CEO post, Calhoun will become executive chairman of the Nielsen board of directors, replacing James M. Kilts.

Explaining his decision to step down as CEO, Calhoun said in a statement that "Nielsen is successfully implementing its global strategy, and the time is right to name the next leader to take the company to its next phase of growth," adding that "Mitch's strong track record at the helm of a number of key Nielsen business units around the world -- combined with his vision and commitment to our strategic plan -- puts the company on solid footing for continued global expansion and value creation."

In a Tuesday filing with the SEC, Nielsen advised that Calhoun must remain chairman of the board through at least Dec. 31, 2014, in order to be relieved of the obligation to repay $2 million of the $6 million signing bonus he received in 2010. In any event, he will receive an additional $2 million owed to him under his "supplemental executive retirement plan" with the company.

Upon retiring from his role as CEO, Calhoun will forfeit 200,000 restricted stock units, but will retain rights to certain performance-restricted shares and stock options that have been granted to him in recent years -- again, so long as he continues to serve as board chairman.

Compensation terms for Barns upon becoming CEO have not yet been disclosed.

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