Market research firm Kantar has appointed Microsoft executive Reed Cundiff as its new chief executive for North America.
Cundiff is taking over from Wayne Levings, who will return to the UK to continue in his role as head of global clients.
“Reed understands what it means to deliver for clients,” said Eric Salama, Kantar chief executive.
“He is tech savvy, entrepreneurial, a clear thinker who puts an emphasis on execution and accountability and has built strong teams that have performed at a high level.”
Cundiff, who will join the firm on 1 May, had served as general manager of customer and market research at Microsoft for 10 years. Previously he worked as a market analyst and consultant at research firms Gartner and the Yankee Group.
The move comes as Kantar gears up for a potential takeover as owner WPP looks to sell its majority stake in the firm.
Kantar, which has been valued at roughly £3.5bn, recently announced it will merge its brands under one name in a bid to simplify the company.
Read more: Second Chinese board member set to leave WPP
Advent and Blackstone are among the US buyout firms said to be in talks for a potential takeover. Earlier this week The Telegraph reported Sweden’s billionaire Wellenberg family is also lined up to table an offer.