Mr. Connors is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of ISG, a leading global technology research and advisory services firm. Mr. Connors is responsible for the global strategy and operations of ISG and is an expert in helping clients achieve operational excellence in their organizations. Under his leadership, ISG has been named annually as one of Forbes’ Best Management Consulting Firms, among many other industry accolades.
Prior to ISG, he served as Chairman & CEO of the Media Measurement & Information (MMI) group of VNU, now The Nielsen Company, a leading global information and media company.
In 2001, he led the formation of the MMI group, comprised of VNU’s media information, entertainment, software and Internet businesses, including Nielsen Media Research, NetRatings and Nielsen Entertainment. He also served as Chairman of VNU World Directories business, a leading Yellow Pages Directories company operating in seven countries. Before joining VNU, Mr. Connors was Vice Chairman of ACNielsen Corporation, the world leader in marketing information services, where he helped lead the turnaround of ACNielsen into a profitable company.
During his leadership, ACNielsen’s equity value grew from $893 million, its market capitalization immediately following its spin-off from the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in November, 1996, to $2.3 billion, its sales price to VNU in February, 2001. Mr. Connors also led the integration of ACNielsen into VNU after the acquisition. Earlier, Mr. Connors was Senior Vice President with The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, which owned such companies as Moody’s Investors Service, Reuben H. Donnelley, IMS Health, ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, D&B Credit Services and a majority stake in Gartner Group. He played a leading role in D&B’s break-up into three separate publicly traded companies in 1996.
Mr. Connors is the Lead Director of Chubb Ltd. (NYSE: CB) and was a Director of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) until 2020. He has appeared on CNBC Power Lunch, CNBC Fast Money and is quoted in the New York Times and other leading publications on media, information services and the Special Purpose Acquisition Company investment vehicle.
Neil G. Budnick has served as our Director since June 2011. Mr. Budnick is currently the Managing Director at Channel Rock Partners, a management consulting firm that provides business strategy and opportunity analysis, operations improvement and risk management for corporations. Until April 2007, Mr. Budnick was President of MBIA Insurance Corporation, a major financial services company. During his 23 years at MBIA, Mr. Budnick held increasingly important positions including: Vice Chairman; Chief Financial Officer; President, Public and Corporate Finance Division; and Senior Vice President, Head of Municipal and Structure Finance. Earlier in his career, Mr. Budnick was also Vice President of the Public Finance Department of Standard & Poor’s Corporation. He was a Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee of RHR International, a management firm that specializes in executive development until December 2018. Following an appointment by the Governor of Connecticut in 2012, he served from 2012‑2013 as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Council (IAC), the state body responsible for working with the State Treasurer in overseeing the investments of the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Mr. Budnick holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College and an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.
Gerald S. Hobbs, Lead Director, is a Managing Director and Operating Partner at Boston Ventures, a leading private-equity firm. Previously, he was the Chairman and CEO of VNU, Inc. (now The Nielsen Company), a leading business, marketing and media information services company. Under Hobbs, VNU rapidly expanded into a multi-billion dollar enterprise by acquiring more than 60 media and information services companies over ten years. Hobbs began his career with Procter & Gamble before joining Billboard Publications, Inc. (later BPI) in 1969. In 1984, he led a management buyout of BPI, and later sold the business to Affiliated Publications, publisher of the Boston Globe, but remained as CEO, leading the business through a period of rapid expansion. In 1991, Hobbs and a partnership group purchased a majority interest in BPI, and in 1994 he presided over the sale of BPI to VNU. Hobbs is past Chairman and Director of American Business Media and the Advertising Council, Inc. He is currently a Director of BNA, Inc. and The Nielsen Company.
Bruce N. Pfau was named to the ISG Board of Directors in July 2019. Over a 30-year career, Pfau, a former long-time senior executive with KPMG, has served as a billable C-suite consultant, P&L partner and consulting practice leader; as a vice chairman of a Big 4 accounting and consulting firm; and as a business author, speaker and noted expert on human-capital-intensive, data-driven businesses. Pfau joined KPMG in 2004 and served as the firm’s vice chairman of Human Resources and Communications for 12 years. During this time, he was a member of the 10-person KPMG management committee responsible for leading the firm and served on the KPMG acquisition committee that oversaw the acquisition of 10 businesses.Upon his mandatory retirement from his vice chairman role at age 60, he served from 2016 to 2018 as a partner, senior consultant and “ambassador” to some of KPMG’s increasingly important executive markets. Earlier in his career, Pfau held executive positions with services firms including Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Willis Towers Watson) and Hay Group (now Korn Ferry Hay). Pfau holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Loyola University Chicago.
Christine Putur has served as our Director since March 2014. Ms. Putur was the Executive Vice President, Technology and Operations of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a specialty outdoor retailer, until her retirement in March 2022. Ms. Putur was previously the Chief Information Officer of Coach, Inc., a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories. Prior to Coach, Ms. Putur was a senior executive for Staples, Inc., a leading office supply retailer. She joined Staples in 1999 and held a variety of leadership positions, most recently as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Prior to that, she worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, a vendor of computer systems, for 15 years and participated in its merger with Compaq Computer Corporation, a developer and seller of computers and related products and services. Ms. Putur holds a B.A .in Administrative Science and Math from Colby College and an M.S. in Management Information Systems from the Boston University Graduate School of Management.
Kalpana Raina has served as our Director since August 2009. Ms. Raina is the managing partner of 252 Solutions, LLC, an advisory firm that specializes in strategic development and implementation. Previously, Ms. Raina was a senior executive with The Bank of New York, a global financial services company. She joined the Bank in 1989 and held a variety of leadership positions, most recently Executive Vice President and Head of European Country Management and Corporate Banking. Prior to that, she served in Mumbai, India as the bank’s Executive Vice President, International. During her eighteen year career with the bank she had responsibility for clients in the Media, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Retailing, Hotels and Leisure and Financial services industries in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Ms. Raina is also a director of Yellow Pages Limited (TSX: YLO), where she serves on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Audit Committee. Until December 2017, Ms. Raina was also a director of John Wiley & Son (NYSE: JWa and JWb). She is a member of Women Corporate Directors and The National Association of Corporate Directors and a past member of The U.S. India Business Council.
Donald C. Waite III has served as our Director since January 2008. Mr. Waite is an adjunct professor at Columbia Graduate School of Business. Mr. Waite retired from McKinsey & Company, the international management consulting firm, in February 2002 after 36 years of service. From 1996 to 2002, he was one of three members of the Firm’s Office of the Managing Director, and Chairman of the Firm’s Investment Committee and Compensation Committee. Mr. Waite is a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and sits on the Board of Directors of the McKinsey Investment Office (MIO). Mr. Waite served on the Board of Directors of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America from 2002‑2017.