Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI), the financial news and information provider, named James Smith to replace Chief Executive Officer Tom Glocer, who will retire after leading the company since its creation in a 2008 merger.
Smith, 52, will become CEO on Jan. 1, the New York-based company said yesterday in a statement. He was elevated to chief operating officer in a September restructuring after running the professional division that includes the Westlaw legal database and Checkpoint tax-information service.
Glocer’s departure comes as Thomson Reuters shares have declined 28 percent this year in Canadian trading. Last month, the 52-year-old Glocer discussed working with Smith, his new COO, in 2012 and said he was confident in restructuring moves at the markets division, which makes up more than half of sales.
“The management change suggests that the improvements are not coming fast enough to please the board,” Claudio Aspesi, a London-based analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein, said via phone today. “The decline in the share price and the sense that the market division was encountering headwinds that had not been fully anticipated was of concern.”
Thomson Reuters fell 1.4 percent to C$26.83 at the close in Toronto.
Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in selling financial and legal information and trading systems.
Share Price Slump
Glocer, 52, was CEO of Reuters Group Plc before its 8.7 billion pound ($17 billion) acquisition by Thomson Corp. and stayed to run the combined company. He will also leave the board of Thomson Reuters at year-end, the company said.
Thomson Reuters shares have fallen 26 percent since the deal was completed in April 2008. The company posted a 38 percent increase in third-quarter profit, driven by revenue growth at its legal-information and tax units.
“I want you to know that we will be satisfied with nothing less than all of our units performing at their best,” Glocer said on the Nov. 1 earnings conference call. “We’ve begun to deliver on our plan to achieve this.”
Glocer restructured the markets division, which provides financial news and data, in July and told investors on Nov. 1 that he expected improved sales performance in 2012, which would lead to revenue growth in 2013 in the business.
“On July 28, I told you that I take firm leadership for our markets division and put it back on track for success,” Glocer said on the Nov. 1 call.
Revenue in the professional division rose 10 percent in the third quarter while markets sales increased 1 percent.
Smith, who began his career as a journalist, joined Thomson Corp. in 1987, and was put in charge of its academic publishing division in 2005. His promotion in September was part of a plan to merge the Markets and Professional units.
“Smith seems to bring what the company probably needs most, which is a very strong eye toward execution,” Sanford C. Bernstein’s Aspesi said.
Devin Wenig, who ran the division that oversees the Reuters news unit and was seen as a possible successor to Glocer, left the company in July to become president of EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s Marketplaces division.
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