*Experian CEO Van Skilling To Retire

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Exactly a year after completing an $845 million deal to acquire Metromail, D. Van Skilling will step down as CEO of Experian North America, Orange, CA.

Skilling announced his retirement, effective April 1, in a letter to Experian employees yesterday. John Peace, chief executive of the Experian Group, Nottingham, UK, is expected to name a new leadership team in the next few weeks.

Skilling, 65, spent 29 years at Experian and its predecessor, TRW. He became CEO in 1996 and helped transform the company into a global information solutions provider with the acquisitions of CCN, Direct Tech and Metromail. Skilling saw analytics and direct marketing as providing the most significant growth and based his acquisition strategy on building them up.

Skilling said he wanted to stay on to see the integration of Metromail through to completion.

"It's a good time to leave in part because we have made a lot of those acquisitions," Skilling said. "We have grown the business to a good size market leader."

Skilling was the facilitator of the Metromail deal that closed after a protracted bidding war between GUS and American Business Information last April. He had an initial meeting with Metromail CEO Bart Faber in 1996 and led the discussions in the fall and winter of 1997 that resulted in a tender offer.

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