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Changes make Thomson Reuters 'more unified internally' - James Smith

Thomson Reuters' new chief executive James Smith, who takes over from Tom Glocer on 1 January, confirmed two top appointments on Monday and said that after a year of challenges and changes everyone would be relieved "to put this period of realignment behind us".

The changes “will make us more unified internally and more competitive in the marketplace for years to come,” Smith said in a message to employees. He referred to working “to turn the world’s greatest collection of news and information assets into the world’s greatest news and information company”, and said “We have already come a long way since we announced our next generation of business leaders at the beginning of this month.”

Following last week’s appointment of Peter Warwick as chief people officer, Smith confirmed Deirdre Stanley as general counsel and James Powell as chief technology officer. “Both of them have remarkable track records and both are committed to working side by side with our business leaders to take this company into a new era,” he said.

“All of our organizational decisions are based on straightforward, durable principles: everything starts and ends with the customer, business is a team sport, and simpler is better. During the weeks ahead we will bed down our organizational structure, continuing to streamline the company and push authority, accountability and resources closer to the customer. I know it will be a relief for everyone to have the structure and leadership team firmly in place and to put this period of realignment behind us.

“2011 has been a year of challenges and changes. Those changes will make us more unified internally and more competitive in the marketplace for years to come.”

Separately, the president of the new financial and risk business unit that includes Reuters news agency, David Craig, told staff that after a year of tumultuous change, 2012 would be a defining year “and I am confident that the team and structure now in place will set us up to re-start our growth engine. There is no doubt that the markets are tough, and are likely to get worse in 2012 – but that should not deter us. Even in a downturn, and in markets that are changing fast, there are opportunities if we are agile enough to seize them.” ■