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tom-glocer
Tom Glocer, CEO, Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters 'Fast Forwards' from Glocer to Smith

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Less than six months after a reorganization and cull of senior executives, Thomson Reuters announced on Thursday that chief executive Tom Glocer will depart the vendor at the end of this year, to be replaced by former Thomson Corp. veteran and current chief operating officer Jim Smith, as part of an organizational restructure that will see the company reorganized into five business divisions.

Glocer, who joined the vendor in 1993 as deputy general counsel before becoming president of Reuters Latin America and Reuters America, then CEO of Reuters in 2001 and CEO of Thomson Reuters following the acquisition of Reuters by Thomson Corp. in 2008, will “retire” from his role and the Thomson Reuters board on Dec. 31, according to a statement.

The new divisional structure sees the creation of a Financial and Risk division, to be led by David Craig, currently president of the vendor’s Governance Risk and Compliance business, and a Global Growth Organization, to be led by Shanker Ramamurthy, currently head of the vendor’s Financial Professionals and Marketplaces business, which combined the former Sales & Trading and Investment & Advisory units earlier this year. The other divisions are Legal, Intellectual Property & Science, and Tax & Accounting.

The move is the latest in a series of high-level changes at Thomson Reuters designed to “flatten” its structure, simplify its business model, create synergies and accelerate growth, which included letting go a swathe of senior executives earlier this year, including Devin Wenig, then-CEO of the vendor’s Markets division, which comprised its financial data and news business (IMD, July 22). Following the departures, Glocer took on overall responsibility for the Markets division.

Glocer is credited with turning around Reuters with his “Fast Forward” cost-cutting initiative following a historic net loss after taking the reins (IMD, Feb. 24, 2003), and was twice named Executive of the Year in the Inside Market Data Awards. But sources say Glocer had increasingly come under pressure from the Thomson family—which still owns a majority stake in the vendor via its family trust, The Woodbridge Company—to increase revenues at the vendor, whose new flagship desktop Eikon has struggled to gain traction against rival Bloomberg, and that it had recently appeared that Smith was being groomed to take the reins as CEO. The vendor’s share price has fallen from highs of nearly $42 in February to $26.88 at close on Thursday.

A Thomson Reuters spokesperson cites the vendor’s third quarter results, where it reported 32,000 Eikon sales—including 27,000 migrations and 5,000 new positions, with 8,000 active users—but declines to comment further on the changes.

Smith, who takes over as CEO on Jan. 1, joined Thomson Newspaper Group in 1987, rising to head of operations for the US prior to the Newspaper Group’s sale in 2000. He then joined Thomson Corp. as executive vice president, ultimately becoming CEO of Thomson Corp. and then CEO of Thomson Reuters’ Professional division, which comprised the former Thomson Corp.’s legal, tax and accounting, scientific and education businesses.

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