IRI announced two new members to its board of directors: Rick Kash and Dimitri Panayotopoulos.
IRI is a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital.
“We are very pleased to have Rick and Dimitri — two highly accomplished consumer goods professionals who are well respected in the industry — join the IRI board,” said Jeffrey Ansell, chairman of IRI and a Vestar senior advisor. “Both Rick and Dimitri bring deep insight, knowledge and specialized expertise uniquely suited to IRI’s business, and I look forward to their contributions in driving IRI’s next phase of growth.”
Kash is the founder and former chairman and CEO of Cambridge Consulting Group, one of the world’s preeminent growth-strategy consulting firms, which was acquired by Nielsen Holdings Plc in 2009. Kash joined Nielsen at the time of the acquisition, ultimately serving as vice chairman of Nielsen.
Since leaving Nielsen in 2016, Kash, who currently serves as a director of Simply Good Foods, has served on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards. He is also currently affiliated with Vestar as a director of Woodstream, another Vestar portfolio company.
Kash founded two cancer research companies in partnership with Harvard University. His book, “How Companies Win,” was selected by Fortune magazine as the most important book for business leaders to read in 2011.
“I know IRI well and have long respected the company’s consistent, leading-edge innovations in the fast-moving predictive analytics sector,” said Kash. “I look forward to working closely alongside the rest of the Board to support IRI’s strategic initiatives and being part of this exciting company’s future in this dynamic field.”
From 1995-2010, Kash was one of 36 elected members of the U.S. Senate Business Forum, a group of businesspeople selected by U.S. senators to advise senators and Cabinet members on the economy and U.S. business performance. A native of Chicago, Kash received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from DePaul University in 2017.
Panayotopoulos is a former vice chairman of The Procter & Gamble Company, where he had responsibility for the full portfolio of P&G’s brands and business units and more than $80 billion of global revenues. He brings deep experience in driving growth, innovation and executional excellence. Following his 37-year career at P&G, which spanned many of its international operations, he became a senior advisor at Boston Consulting Group.
“Successful brand-building and marketing demand the sophisticated, groundbreaking services and solutions offered by IRI,” said Panayotopoulos. “I am enthusiastic about working with the IRI team as we continue to enhance and refine analytics that anticipate competitive trends for our clients.”
Panayotopoulos’ career at P&G included positions in advertising and marketing before moving on to various country manager positions. He led successful initiatives in China that resulted in a multibillion-dollar P&G business and also managed P&G’s 110-country market-development organization in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa and spearheaded the creation of a unified approach to building brands and businesses in those markets.
After being named Group President of Global Fabric Care, Panayotopoulos helped build Downy, Lenor, and Gain into billion-dollar brands. Panayotopoulos resides in Switzerland and serves on the boards of British American Tobacco Company and JBS Foods International. He also served on the board of Logitech International until earlier this year.
“Our new directors have exceptional experience building brands and businesses via leveraging insights, analytics and the right strategic choices,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer of IRI. “We look forward to working with them to further IRI’s mission of driving sustainable competitive advantage for our clients.”
IRI provides big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers, financial services and media companies grow their businesses. A confluence of major external events — a change in consumer buying habits, big data coming into its own, advanced analytics and personalized consumer activation — is leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries.
With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI is empowering the personalization revolution, helping to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, collaborate with key constituents and deliver market-leading growth.