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Thomson Reuters appoints COO, merges divisions

A worker enters the Thomson Reuters building in the Canary Wharf financial district of London on Aug. 6, 2009.


Thomson Reuters Corp. named Jim Smith as chief operating officer and said it would merge its two main divisions, Markets and Professional, to "capture operating efficiencies from scale."

The changes come as the news and information company undergoes a series of shakeups after disappointing revenue growth in the Markets division, which accounts for about 59 per cent of overall revenue.

Mr. Smith, whose appointment is effective immediately, was previously the chief executive of the Professional division, which sells legal, tax and accounting products such as WestlawNext.

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Thomson Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer said the changes would streamline the organization and would likely lead to some layoffs among management.

The company also announced Wednesday that chief financial officer Bob Daleo planned to retire next July after he turns 63. He will be replaced in January by Stephane Bello, who is now CFO of the Professional division.

Second quarter results highlighted the tepid growth in the Markets division that resulted in the departure of six senior executives, including division chief Devin Wenig.

The Markets division reported 1 per cent growth in second-quarter revenue after backing out the impact of exchange rate movements. That was far short of the Professional unit's growth of 8 per cent.

Mr. Glocer has taken direct responsibility for the turnaround of Markets and has about a year to make it work, people familiar with the thinking of the board and the controlling shareholder, Canada's Thomson family, said in July.

Thomson Reuters has struggled to persuade traders and bankers to adopt Eikon, its new flagship desktop that was launched a year ago.

Analysts have been concerned that Thomson Reuters might not meet its revenue goals over the next few years if it cannot convince existing clients to migrate to the new platform and win new customers away from competitors such as Bloomberg LP, News Corp's Dow Jones and FactSet Research.

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