The NPD Group Names New Industry Sector Leaders For Americas Business

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The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, has announced the promotion of five company officers to lead industry sectors across its Americas practice areas.

The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, has announced the promotion of five company officers to lead industry sectors across its Americas practice areas. They are: Perry James, President, US Hardlines; Mike Leahy, President, Canada and Latin America; Diane Nicholson, President, US Softlines; Arnie Schwartz, President, US Food; and Karl Werner, President, US Technology. All report to Dennis Brown, Group President for Americas Commercial Business.

As head of NPD’s US Hardlines business, Perry James oversees NPD’s Toys, Home, Office Supplies, and Automotive practice areas. James has been with NPD for 18 years. He successfully launched NPD’s Office Supplies business in 2007, and in 2009 was named President of the Office Supplies group. In 2011 he added to his responsibilities leadership of NPD’s Home business. Before joining NPD, James was with ACNielsen. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and a B.S. from the University of Connecticut.

Mike Leahy, who now heads NPD practices in Canada and Latin America, joined NPD in 2012 to head the Canada business. In his expanded role, Leahy oversees services across all industries, including Consumer Technology, Commercial Technology, Fashion, Foodservice, and Video Games in Canada and Latin America. He has more than 20 years’ market research experience, including 18 with Nielsen Media Research in Canada, where he served as President for five years. Most recently, he was with Angus Reid Strategies and Harris/Decima in Canada. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Diane Nicholson, President of US Softlines, oversees NPD’s Beauty, Accessories, Apparel, Fashion Footwear, and Sports practice areas. Nicholson joined NPD in 1997 and was instrumental in launching the firm’s Fashion Footwear tracking business. She later headed NPD’s Athletic Footwear and Apparel businesses, and took over as head of the Beauty service in 2005. Before joining NPD, Nicholson spent 12 years in a variety of positions in both the retail and manufacturing industries, including positions at R.H. Macy’s, the May Merchandising Company, and Liz Claiborne. She received a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Connecticut.

Now President of NPD’s US Food sector, Arnie Schwartz leads the Food & Beverage and Foodservice businesses. His responsibility will expand to encompass SupplyTrack®, the first tracking service that codes, aggregates, and tracks every product shipped from a critical mass of leading broadline distributors to each of their foodservice operators. That business is set to launch this summer. Having joined NPD in 1987, Schwartz has made a career of studying what people eat and drink both at restaurants and in their homes. He was named President of NPD’s Food & Beverage unit in 2002 and President of the Foodservice business in 2009. He also launched NPD’s SnackTrack® service, which measures usage of convenience and snack-oriented products, wherever and whenever they are purchased and eaten. He received an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Michigan.

Karl Werner, President for NPD’s US Technology sector, leads the Consumer Electronics, Technology, Games, and Mobile practice areas. He was previously President of NPD’s Consumer Technology business and before that President for Commercial Technology, IT, and Printing. He joined NPD in 2006. Werner’s previous experience includes 18 years in the areas of retail store operations, purchasing, category management, and technology distribution sales and product management. He has held management positions at Staples, Tech Data, Rite Aid Drug, Eckerd Drug, and The Home Shopping Network. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

“Our new sector leadership team positions us to continue to raise NPD’s game as an industry leader across the broad range of practice areas we serve,” said Dennis Brown. “Our clients’ needs are evolving, and we are ready to elevate our level of engagement. These leadership changes equip us to continue providing the market information NPD is known for – as well as a growing array of solutions that allow us partner in new ways and drive better business decisions throughout organizations.”

In addition to these appointments, NPD also announced the promotion of five individuals to officer level. These officers and their new titles are: Lora Morsovillo, President, Office Supplies; Caroline Pisaniello, Vice President, Product Management; Fernando Rubio, Presidentand General Manager, Mexico; Ann Roberts, President, SupplyTrack; and Giovanna Pirrone, Vice President, Europe Retail Business Group. All previously held the title of Executive Director.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit and Follow us on Twitter:@npdgroup.

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