Devin Wenig, the chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters’ largest business segment, the Markets division, has decided to leave the company in a surprise shake-up intended to accelerate growth in the financial information business.
Wenig has managed Thomson Reuters’ $7.5 billion Markets division since Thomson Corp’s 2008 takeover of Reuters. During that time he has overseen the integration of the two companies’ financial markets businesses and the consolidation of Markets’ product lines into a two-platform strategy – Eikon and Elektron.
His departure after a 17-year career at Reuters was unexpected – Wenig had long been seen as an eventual successor to Thomson Reuters’ CEO, Tom Glocer. The company said in a statement on Thursday that Wenig had decided to leave and that Glocer would assume responsibility for the Markets division.
The announcement has been seen in some quarters as a sign that the board and Woodbridge, the Thomson family’s holding company, is seeking greater change after a year in which the company’s shares have fallen by 9.9% and after a slower than expected uptake of the new product lines.
In an internal email to his direct reports, Wenig wrote: "The board…has wanted to make more substantial changes than I wanted or would have accepted".
Thomson Reuters also announced that it would be reorganising its Markets division by combining its former Sales & Trading and Investment & Advisory businesses into a new division called Financial Professionals & Marketplaces.
A separate Enterprise Solutions division will focus on services and infrastructure for financial firms as a whole, and the Media unit is likely to remain unchanged.
The company reaffirmed its outlook for the full year and added that next Thursday’s earnings report for the second quarter should show on-going revenues of between $3.1 billion and $3.2 billion, up approximately 4% before currency swings.
Glocer says in the statement: “These changes are intended to accelerate growth as we flatten our organisation to operate as an integrated company and unleash cross-company capabilities and operating synergies.”
Thomson Reuters has been looking for new growth strategies as it came to the end of a three-year integration period in which cost savings had driven results. The Markets division contributes almost 60% of Thomson Reuters’ revenue. The Professional division, which serves legal, accounting and healthcare professionals, contributes the remainder.