The TV ranking agency Nielsen employed outdoors legal professionals in September to research its No. 2 government over an affair with a company legal professional, The Publish realized.
The interior investigation – triggered by an nameless whistleblower – discovered that Chief Working Officer Karthik Rao didn’t violate the corporate’s code of conduct, sources stated. However the alleged affair with the Nielsen legal professional – who was additionally promoted throughout the rendezvous – raised eyebrows in an period of “Me Too” company audits.
The legal professional ultimately break up with Rao and left the corporate, a supply conversant in the matter informed The Publish. After the breakup, Rao despatched the lady an in depth electronic mail with the topic “My ideas …” and stated, “I did the work to know that it was not your fault.”
“I fell deeply in love with you and also you,” Rao wrote within the December 2020 electronic mail verified by The Publish. “Since I had my very own darkness, I knew everybody had baggage. The reality is, I by no means ran, not as soon as. And I have been mild, caring, and cautious for a very long time that can assist you course of your emotions. “
A part of what Nielsen was researching, based on sources, was whether or not Rao was utilizing his place to pave the lady’s path to a promotion.
In a press release to The Publish, Rao stated, “I absolutely adhere to the Code of Conduct. I’m satisfied of the thoroughness of the investigation carried out by Nielsen and assist their conclusions. ”He didn’t wish to touch upon the alleged affair.
Chief Working Officer Karthik Rao, second from proper, has been investigated by Nielsen over an alleged affair with an organization lawyer. A part of what Nielsen was researching, based on sources, was whether or not Rao was utilizing his place to pave the lady’s path to a promotion.Rob Kim
Nielsen determined that the affair was not a battle as Rao was not the lady’s direct line supervisor. And that is even supposing she was apparently promoted as an alternative of candidates advisable by Nielsen’s Deputy Chief Authorized Officer Eric Rubenstein, an electronic mail from Rubenstein to the lady in December 2019 stated he was additionally in regards to the promotion congratulated.
Nielsen stated the lady’s supervisor “made a very unbiased choice,” which the corporate confirmed throughout the investigation.
Though Nielsen informed The Publish that its evaluate discovered “no battle of curiosity in performing any duties or affecting Nielsen’s enterprise,” the corporate stated it “takes this as a chance to evaluate our insurance policies and seek the advice of with different updates will make “. advise if obligatory. “
When requested if there could be updates, Nielsen didn’t wish to remark particularly, however stated: “We’re reviewing – as at common intervals – the whole code with regard to our worker rights and obligations.”
The corporate’s most up-to-date 2019 Code of Conduct states, “Sure relationships can create or look like a battle of curiosity.” Signify a battle. “
Nonetheless, Nielsen’s Code of Conduct does not require issues to be disclosed, in contrast to another publicly traded corporations like McDonald’s, which dismissed a CEO final yr after discovering he lied about an affair with an worker.
“It does not look nice although – and that is the issue,” stated Charles Elson, an unrelated company governance skilled and legal professional.
Neilsen’s Chief Operation Officer Karthik Rao.
If Nielsen had particularly requested disclosure of office issues, it might have stopped Rao from beginning the alleged romance – or given the corporate the suitable to self-discipline him as soon as it realized of the alleged affair, Elson stated.
Whereas sources stated Rao was acquitted of code of conduct violations, it’s unclear whether or not he was punished for the alleged affair. Nielsen did not wish to remark.
The corporate’s chief of compliance and integrity, Lauren Connell, opened the investigation into Rao on September 24, 4 days after receiving the grievance, based on a doc detailing an trade between Connell and the whistleblower.
“I’ve full independence and entry to the interior information obligatory to totally examine this matter and have employed outdoors authorized counsel as a result of seriousness of the matter [alleged] Habits, ”wrote Connell.
On November 2nd, Connell despatched the whistleblower a cryptic message stating, “Now we have absolutely investigated the issues you have got raised and brought corrective motion if obligatory.”
It is unclear whether or not the Nielsen CEO or the board of administrators have been dropped at the eye of the investigation, however on October 28, Rao attended Nielsen’s convention name on the third quarter outcomes. There was no point out of the investigation he was going through on the time.
Rao’s rise to energy at Nielsen got here in November 2019 amid upheavals within the firm. The analysis agency had break up into two publicly traded corporations – one for shopper analysis and the opposite for TV rankings.
Rao, Nielsen’s Chief Product and Expertise Officer, has been promoted to COO of the newly shaped media firm now known as Nielsen World Media.