Reuters Shakeup Continues; Ahearn Is Out; Mix Of Promotions And Exits

Tom Glocer

The Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) reorganization of its ailing Markets division is claiming several more high level staffers, in addition to the ouster of Markets division CEO Devin Wenig. The company’s CEO Tom Glocer has issued another staff memo that notes a mixture of promotions and exits, including Chris Ahearn, the president of Reuters Media.

Ahearn had been with Reuters since 2001 and had been one of the architects of the company’s consumer facing multimedia effort, which included a lavish focus on a redesigned website and mobile apps. Ahearn announced his departure via Twitter, saying “Hey – I get to break news for a change. I am leaving Thomson Reuters.”

He later said that he wasn’t sure what he’d be doing next, but that he’s “considering many things on different coasts – but gonna enjoy the summer for now.”

From the looks of it, Ahearn has told friends and associates that he’d planned to leave the company at the end of the year, as he was seeking a change. The current reorg simply accelerated those plans. His departure comes seven months after Alisa Bowen, who had worked closely with Ahearn on overhauling Reuters’ consumer business, left for Dow Jones (NSDQ: NWS), to run the company’s digital business.

Ahearn is being replaced by Reuters vet Susan Taylor-Martin. She’s been with the company since 1993 and has held posts such as global head of corporate and also ran Reuters’ U.K. & Ireland operating unit. Also out: Reuters CMO Lee Ann Daly.

In a message outlining his thoughts about his exit, Ahearn had significant praise for Taylor-Martin, saying he was “absolutely delighted” she would be taking on the post. “I have known and worked with Susan for almost 10 years. She is a class act and is the right person to take things forward. I have long recommended her as a potential successor to me… In the meantime – help Susan and most importantly focus on your customers and what they need, not corporate drama plays.”

So far, there doesn’t appear to be another shakeup within the editorial news staff. The big changes there occurred in February, when Stephen J. Adler was shifted from his role as SVP and editorial director of the news service’s Professional division to editor-in-chief of Reuters News in February. Since then, Adler has moved a number of staffers around and brought in some high profile names as the news service tries to march Bloomberg, which has been aggressively trying to build its brand among wider audience of professionals that is beyond both companies’ core financial markets client. As that client base has evaporated since the recession, Reuters’ Markets’ division has needed to streamline, even as it looks to grow its multimedia segment.

Aside from the hiring, among the most notable executive shifts under his new regime was moving Chrystia Freeland from global editor-at-large to head the company’s interactive efforts in the new post of editor of Thomson Reuters Digital.

Memo from CEO Tom Glocer to the staff

Dear Colleagues,

Following my announcement yesterday about the change in leadership in Markets, this note provides additional details concerning the structure and composition of the new organization. I am not planning any further changes of this scale at Corporate or in the Professional division, where Jim Smith led a similar streamlining effort earlier this year.

Reflecting the two-platform strategy (Eikon and Elektron), I will manage the financial services business of Markets through two closely aligned operating units: Financial Professionals & Marketplaces and Enterprise Solutions. The Financial Professionals & Marketplaces unit will come together over the coming months through the combination of the present Sales & Trading (S&T) and Investment & Advisory (I&A) units. This unit will be led by Shanker Ramamurthy, who currently runs S&T.

Shanker will report directly to me, as will:
Jon Robson, who will run an expanded Enterprise Solutions unit;
Susan Taylor Martin, whom I have appointed head of our Media business;
David Turner, who will be responsible for Finance, Strategy, Commercial Policy (to be headed by Chip Cater) and also Sales and Marketing, which will be led by Chris Perry;
Peter Moss, who will run Content and Customer Experience.
To give Shanker time to ramp up, I&A will report on an interim basis to Bob Daleo, CFO of Thomson Reuters, who will transition the business to Shanker in a careful and open process.

Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler will also report directly to me, reflecting the cross-company role of Editorial.

Mark Sandham will head up HR for Markets in addition to his current role at Corporate. The HR, Legal and Communications functions will report to their respective function leaders at Corporate. I will chair a new Markets ExCom consisting of Shanker Ramamurthy, Jon Robson, Susan Taylor Martin, David Turner, Peter Moss, Chris Perry, Mark Sandham and Nancy Gardner, who will continue as Markets General Counsel.

As a result of this reorganization, Chris Ahearn, Lee Ann Daly, Joerg Floeck, Eric Frank and John Reid-Dodick will be leaving the company. I would like to thank each of them for their distinctive contributions over many years and to extend best wishes for the future.

As I said in yesterday’s message, these changes to Markets build on and complete the transformation we began in Professional earlier this year. This transformation is about driving growth, unleashing cross-company capabilities and making it easier to get things done. Importantly, it’s also about accountability and transparency. As we work to create a performance-driven culture, let’s make it a culture where results speak the loudest and collaboration is the norm.


Tom Glocer
CEO, Thomson Reuters


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