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Thomson Reuters CEO James Smith in hospital

James Smith (photo), president and chief executive of Thomson Reuters, was admitted to hospital in Toronto on Monday after feeling unwell and remains under observation, the company said on Tuesday.

The company’s 45,000 employees were told in a staff message: “I am saddened to inform you that our colleague and CEO Jim Smith was taken to the hospital on Monday after feeling unwell. Jim remains in the hospital, under observation.

“Our thoughts are with his family, and we will provide further details as appropriate while being respectful of their privacy.

“In his immediate absence, CFO Stephane Bello will oversee Jim’s responsibilities alongside his own.

Smith, born in Kentucky in 1959, is a former journalist who was appointed chief executive in January 2012. He began his career at the Thomson Corporation in 1987 and ran its North American newspaper business before moving into other executive roles, including managing the professional publishing business that served the legal, tax and accounting markets.

Last year, he and other members of the company’s executive leadership moved to Toronto from Stamford, Connecticut.

Two weeks ago, Smith struck a deal to sell a majority stake in the company’s core terminals and data business to US private equity firm Blackstone.

It is the company’s biggest transaction since Canada’s Thomson Corp bought Reuters in 2008. The Financial & Risk division’s business accounts for more than half of Thomson Reuters revenue and supplies news, data and analytics to banks and investment houses around the world.

The Thomson family of Canada owns 64 percent of Thomson Reuters through its Woodbridge investment vehicle.

Bello joined Thomson in 2001 and was formerly CFO of the professional division. ■