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Thomson Reuters CEO leaves weeks after admitting Eikon switchover errors

Tom Glocer had personally intervened to fix launch problems on billion dollar product

Thomson Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer is set to step down, a month after he expressed serious regret for the fast pace of the company's troubled billion dollar market desktop switchover.

Glocer will retire earlier than expected on 1 January, after a decade at Reuters and then at the combined company. In the summer, he had said he was not planning to leave in spite of the problems, and is reported by Forbes to have received nearly $10 million annual compensation.

Glocer, who oversaw the massive integration of the Thomson data company and Reuters news agency, will be replaced by current chief operating officer Jim Smith.

Thomson Reuters' Markets division supplies widely-used share data and news feeds to financial traders, but it experienced major challenges after the switchover to Eikon. The market product took two years to develop but received a dim review from some analysts, and market interest was reportedly mixed.

Last month, Glocer said he regretted the high speed of the Eikon switchover. He told Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper: "The launch was overly ambitious ... the launch plan suggested it was fit to replace the entire desktop product line [of over 200 products] on day one and it really wasn't."

Glocer had taken personal control of the day-to-day operations of the Markets division in order to rectify the problems. Around the same time, in July, Devin Wenig - who was on a million dollar salary and was responsible for bringing in Eikon - unexpectedly quit the company alongside five key members of staff.

The Markets division last month reported a $381 million (£237 million) third-quarter profit, up eight percent, but revenues had only grown one percent.

Thomson Reuters' next CEO, Jim Smith, has been promoted twice in the year and has overseen the more successful Professional division - the other half of the company, which provides legal, healthcare and accounting data.

Thomson Reuters made no reference to the Market division problems as it announced Glocer's retirement, and instead praised his oversight of the company.

Glocer had "turned around Reuters ten years ago, led the company to growth and guided its sale to form Thomson Reuters", stated David Thomson, the company's chairman. He had also "revitalised" and "expanded" the business.

Glocer himself said that by the time he steps down, the strategic and budgetary work he has led "will be complete".

Photo: Aaron Fulkerson

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