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Executive changes beginning of the end of turbulent period - new CEO

Thomson Reuters' next chief executive James Smith, pictured, on Friday set out his priorities for the company when he takes over from Tom Glocer on 1 January and said Thursday's announcement was the beginning of the end of a turbulent period of executive changes.

“Thomson Reuters is a company built to win in the information age,” he said in a message to the group’s 55,000 employees. “We have sustainable franchises. We have differentiating competitive advantage in many areas. And – most importantly – we have talented, dedicated people.

“We do many things very well. But there are some things we must do better. Yesterday’s announcement sets in place our next-generation leadership team. It is the beginning of the end of a turbulent period of executive changes. As I have said before, I believe business is a team sport.” The executives appointed to head new business units form a world-class team of operators that will lead to great heights in years to come.

Among the team’s first tasks will be completion of the organisation design work of the past several weeks. “That effort carries the project name ‘Customer First,’ because we are organizing our business around our customers and their needs. That customer theme is at the top of the list of things we must do better. 

“Simplifying the organization and our approach to customers is another. Those will be guiding principles.”

Smith said he intended to focus on

  • Defining and pursuing the most promising growth vectors in financial services
  • Continuing to broaden the company’s value proposition beyond core content and research with high-value tools, software and services 
  • Exploiting its unique position at the intersection of regulation and finance
  • Accelerating development of the business in fast-growing geographies around the world
  • Simplifying internal commercial policies and practices
  • Improving underlying technology platforms and dramatically improving product quality and customer experience
  • Making Thomson Reuters the best place in the world to work.

Smith, chief operating officer until the change of command takes effect, promised an update on the new operating model before the year ends.

He added: “I accepted the CEO job with a great sense of personal excitement and gratitude to the many people who have been responsible for my success. That includes Tom Glocer. His shoes will be impossible to fill; I will have to do the job in my own way. But I also accepted with a deep sense of duty and commitment to the tens of thousands of my colleagues who have dedicated their talents, efforts and professional lives to this organization. Business may begin and end with the customer, but it is the Thomson Reuters people in the middle who make it all happen.” ■

Thomson Reuters