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CEO Monique Villa to leave Thomson Reuters Foundation

Monique Villa (photo) is stepping down as chief executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

She will leave in April and the Foundation’s chief operating officer, Antonio Zappulla, will take over. He has been appointed CEO by the Foundation’s board of trustees.

Villa will become special advisor to James Smith, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters.

“My 11 years at the Foundation have been a story of growth and it has been my best job ever, finding ways to give a voice to the voiceless, to make a real impact in spreading the rule of law worldwide and fostering quality journalism around the world,” she said in a statement. “The way all our programmes work together has maximised our impact.

“I have also built a first-class team that I will greatly miss, but I am so proud that Antonio Zappulla will succeed me, pushing further all our work. He has a strong personality, is driven by purpose and I have no doubt he will be a complete success.”

A statement issued by the Foundation said that under Villa’s leadership it has been transformed into “a global human rights organisation and a thought leader in the fields of anti-slavery, women’s rights and land and property rights. Since taking over the Foundation in 2008, she has launched a number of programmes to trigger change and empower people all over the world”.

Zapulla joined the Foundation six years ago from Bloomberg Television where he was executive producer of a series of award-winning news documentaries. He said: “I am thrilled and excited. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is an incredible organisation that has achieved tremendous impact in the past decade under Monique’s leadership. I am keen to preserve the great legacy of her work whilst also ensuring that we continue to innovate and grow, enlisting new partners and seizing strategic opportunities along the way. I look forward to driving the next stage of the Foundation’s evolution, and its focus on human rights.”

Smith said: “Monique’s stellar leadership, flair, passion and focus have transformed the Thomson Reuters Foundation into a world-renowned human rights organisation. She has created so much impact that has left a lasting legacy. Whilst she will be very much missed, there is no better-placed successor than Antonio Zappulla, whose drive, commitment and creative mind have been demonstrated as COO. I look forward to the next exciting phase for the Foundation, and to seeing the success of its ever-expanding work.”

David Binet, CEO of the Thomson family’s investment company Woodbridge and chairman of the Foundation, said: “Monique has led the Foundation with bold instincts and a fearless determination, aiming high and consistently prioritising action: no challenge has been too great, no border too far, and her achievements reflect her courage, passion and determination. In Antonio, we have a dynamic, young, yet experienced leader who can build on her great work whilst forging new paths for the Foundation.” ■

Thomson Reuters