Thomson Reuters appoints COO in another reorganization

Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:33pm EDT
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By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) Thomson Reuters Corp named Jim Smith chief operating officer, putting him in a strong position to succeed Chief Executive Tom Glocer, who is under pressure to boost sales to financial institutions.

The company also said it was merging its Markets division with its Professional division, which was run by Smith, in the second major restructuring in two months.

In July, Markets division head Devin Wenig departed along with five other executives.

The Markets unit, which serves financial institutions and accounts for about 60 percent of total revenue, is struggling because of the slow uptake of a key new desktop product, Eikon, and as banks and other institutions around the world cut budgets and lay off tens of thousands.

The company's controlling shareholder, Canada's Thomson family, has been concerned about the performance of the unit, people familiar with the thinking of the board said in July. Glocer has been given about a year to accomplish a turnaround, they said at the time.

The appointment of Smith raised fresh questions about how long Glocer will remain CEO, and whether the Markets business had deteriorated further in the last two months.

Thomson Reuters shares, which have lost more than 20 percent this year, closed 2 percent lower in New York trade.

"I think Jim is an extraordinary executive and he's always been in the frame of who the board should consider one day as a successor," Glocer said in an interview, in response to a question about CEO succession plans.   Continued...