Laurent Pierre Jr., Senior VP at NielsenIQ | C-Suite Origin Stories

      Laurent Pierre Jr. SVP at NielsenIQ

      Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support

      The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the globe who are changing the face of business. Read along to hear their stories.

      Laurent Pierre Jr. considers himself a problem-solver by nature.

      “That’s what I do,” said Pierre, senior vice president of global customer support for NielsenIQ, the Chicago-based consumer intelligence company.

      “For me, it’s about solving a customer’s problems and turning things around, leading people and more of the technology pieces as well,” he said. “If you look at my career trajectory, the last probably two or three moves that I’ve made post-IBM were because of the work that I did previously. The next employer was looking to take that work and do that work internally.”

      That includes Microsoft, which in 2019 hired the nearly 15-year IBM veteran for his experience in building Big Blue’s Global Elite Program supporting its most strategic clients. Microsoft wanted a similar program for its top-tier Azure cloud computing customers.

      How Pierre Advanced His Skills for C-Suite Success

      Over the years, Pierre has combined those problem-solving skills with his tech savvy and vertical industry knowledge to forge a successful career as a customer experience (CX) executive.

      “I’m a tech guy at heart, and so I look at problems in a different way – not just from a business perspective,” he said. “I marry the two together, and I’m able to operate in both of those spaces. That’s what brings me joy: the ability to identify the problems, map out a plan, and then someone says, ‘Okay, here’s $1 million, go execute.’ And that’s what I’ve been doing since I left IBM.” 

      NielsenIQ hired Pierre from his global customer support position at Wolters Kluwer to reimagine and digitally transform the delivery of its own customer support across 100-plus countries. Pierre’s team assists customers in their native languages to ensure their successful adoption of NielsenIQ’s products and services.

      “My role is really to drive that customer experience end to end, but also partner with the folks that build the database information and the tools that customers use to get access to that market information that they subscribe to,” he said.

      A Roundabout Path to C-Suite Leadership

      Like many others, the New York-born Pierre took a detour from the original career path that he had in mind as an international business major at Howard University. His post-graduation plans were to return to Haiti, where he grew up from the age of about 5, to help with his parents’ artist and cosmetic brush manufacturing plant. But when Haiti’s political climate became untenable, his mother and father moved back to the United States and, with Plan A scrapped, Pierre settled on information technology (IT).

      While he had no formal IT training, he was the teen who helped the head of his high school computer lab with its computers and upgrades, and he continued lending a hand to students at Howard’s computer lab. And in his first job after college, Pierre was a consultant at a Capitol Hill company that sold software for constituent correspondence management. 

      “I ended up in several of my jobs supporting IT, but at places like the World Bank, where I supported the trading room and the technology there,” he said.

      Pierre later earned MBAs in financial management and management from Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., with aspirations of perhaps becoming a chief financial officer. But he instead reverted to IT, and his technical customer support work evolved into the more holistic CX realm at IBM, where his team aligned around customers’ businesses to help them maximize their use of IBM software.

      “It moved from supporting customers to creating an experience for customers,” Pierre said. “[It was] not just your transactional ‘I have a problem, can you fix it,’ but more, ‘how was your experience with our organization, with our website, with our sales process, with training, with consulting,’ and tying each of those touch points together.”

      Skills Key to Pierre’s Success

      Strong interpersonal skills and cultivating the right workplace cultures have been paramount to his digital transformation work and success, according to Pierre. If he had to do it over again, he would pursue additional technology certifications to validate his skills, get more involved with industry associations and networking, and seek more keynote speaking opportunities.

      New hires shouldn’t be afraid to express their competence and expertise – diplomatically, that is, Pierre advised.

      “Sometimes when you join a new organization, there’s a tendency to sort of tamper down what you know,” he said. “Make sure you share your expertise without being arrogant. But, more importantly, always come out with a ‘here is what we’re going to do to fix the issues that I found.’”

      The best technologies and strategies can fall flat if leaders can’t connect with people and earn buy-in of their goals, Pierre said. That includes not only front-line workers implementing the plans, but middle-management and executive-level sponsorship.

      “You have to be concise in your messaging,” Pierre said. “You have to have analytics. You have to be deep and wide in the technology that’s around you – not only the ones that your customers are using, but also the technology to support the infrastructure. You have to have a technical edge but also business acumen in the space and industry that you’re in.”

      Pierre’s IBM tenure afforded him the latter, as his teams there supported banking, telecommunications, manufacturing and automotive customers. He worked in data and artificial intelligence before his departure, and he served on the corporate team that introduced Watson in Support (now Watsonx Platform), which also helped land his role as general manager/partner of Azure CX engineering support at Microsoft.

      “I grew up at IBM,” Pierre said. “The management training is rigid, and you can’t progress in your career at IBM unless you go through the steps at every level of your management career. It’s definitely part of my DNA.”

      The Origin Series by Cowen Partners fosters the union of emerging leaders with purpose-driven executives and peers who share similar aspirations. By leveraging our comprehensive tools, expertise, and network, we enable you to shape your leadership trajectory towards generating a substantial influence on your organization and the community.

      Read More Executive Origin Stories

      Jennifer Byrne

      Former CTO at Microsoft The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the globe…

      Laurent Pierre Jr. SVP at NielsenIQ

      Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives…

      Sandy Carter Unstoppable Domains

      Chief Operating Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the globe…

      Melody Zhang Chateau Ste Michelle

      Chief Human Resources Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the…

      Leigh Gower Dutch Bros Coffee

      Chief Technology Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the globe…

      Elizabeth Norberg Foot Locker

      Chief Human Resources Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the…

      Rafael Perez Consumer Reports

      Chief Human Resources Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the…

      Ana Maria Sencovici Royal Caribbean

      Chief Talent Officer The Cowen Partners Origin Series profiles executives from across the globe who…

      About Cowen Partners

      At Cowen Partners, we stand at the forefront of the executive search industry, empowering companies to thrive and excel in their growth, revenue, and market presence. We specialize in identifying exceptional leaders and placing them in key positions to drive success. Our team of seasoned executive recruiters collaborates with organizations of all sizes, encompassing both public and private enterprises, pre-IPO ventures, and non-profit entities. Through a meticulous and discerning approach, we unite handpicked candidates, with companies in pursuit of the most exceptional executive talent, representing the top 1%. With the support of our experienced senior partners, we execute a diligent and efficient executive search process, ensuring leadership placements within a remarkable six-week timeframe.

      Executive search placements span the entire C-suiteCEOsCFOsCOOsCMOsCIO/ CTOsCHROsCLOs, and leadership roles including VPs, Directors, and more.

      Get in Touch.

      Fill out the email request form to learn more about our approach.










        [honeypot website]