Thomson Reuters Corp., a provider of business news and information services, named the Economist Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Rashbass as the head of its news business in a newly created position at the company.
Rashbass, 47, worked at the Economist for 15 years and has been CEO at the London-based company since 2008, Thomson Reuters said in a statement today. Stephen J. Adler, who was recently named Reuters president, on top of his role as editor-in-chief, will report to Rashbass.
Thomson Reuters, based in New York, is looking to its smaller divisions to help spur growth amid sluggish demand for its financial-data products such as Eikon. The company reported a first-quarter net loss of $31 million, including severance charges, as sales declined.
Thomson Corp.’s $15.9 billion acquisition of Reuters Group Plc in 2008 has been slow to pay off for investors. Since it began trading as a combined company on April 17, 2008, the share price has fallen 1.7 percent through yesterday.
The addition of Rashbass should help the company wring more value from its news division, said Doug Arthur, a media analyst with Evercore Partners Inc. in New York.
“There are a lot of things they want to do with that division in terms of integrating it throughout the company and on different platforms,” he said. “They could grow the division faster with a little more strategic direction.”
The segment that includes Reuters News continues to lose money, reporting a $59 million loss (TRI:US) in operating income for the quarter ending in March, compared with a $92 million loss a year earlier.
Thomson Reuters CEO Jim Smith has been focused on cost cutting to improve profitability. The company plans to cut 2,500 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, Smith said in February.
Rashbass will join Thomson Reuters this summer and will be based in London.
“I am excited to be joining Reuters with its unmatched commitment to reporting with speed, accuracy, integrity and independence,” Rashbass said in the statement. “Because they are essential to Reuters journalism, these characteristics can also drive huge commercial success.”
Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in providing financial news and information.
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