Smith replaces Glocer as Thomson Reuters CEO

Thu Dec 1, 2011 9:08pm EST
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp Chief Executive Tom Glocer is stepping down at the end of the year following a slump in the share price in recent months. He will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer James Smith, a veteran Thomson executive who has run the company's most successful operations.

The news and information company has undergone a series of structural changes and management shake-ups over the past six months to address the lackluster performance of its Markets business, which mainly serves financial institutions.

With Glocer's departure, Canada's Thomson family, which acquired control of Reuters Group Plc in 2008 to create Thomson Reuters, is removing the last senior Reuters executive from the company's top echelon. The family's holding company Woodbridge owns about 55 percent of Thomson Reuters.

"By the end of the year, the organizational strategy and budget work I have been leading will be complete, and the transition plan I launched last summer will have achieved its objectives," Glocer said in a statement on Thursday.

Thomson Reuters also reaffirmed its 2011 outlook but said that excluded any one-time charges related to what it termed a restructuring. The company declined to give more details.

Smith, a former journalist who joined the Thomson newspaper group in 1987, previously was head of the Professional unit, which sells legal, tax and accounting products. Since the merger, the Professional business, which was a Thomson Corp unit, has steadily outperformed the Markets operation, which was largely the legacy Reuters business.

Smith, 52, is the former head of Thomson U.S. newspaper operations. During his tenure, the company became one of the first media companies to shift away from the declining newspaper business to focus on electronic publishing.

Glocer is credited with rescuing Reuters a decade ago through a sweeping cost-cutting program, when the company's performance and stock price swooned following the dotcom bust. He later engineered the acquisition by Thomson Corp for about $17.2 billion, a 40 percent premium to Reuters share price at the time.   Continued...

<p>Thomson Reuters CEO Thomas Glocer speaks at their Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Toronto May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>