Thomson family frustrated with Reuters deal

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Alistair MacDonald, Anupreeta Das and Russell Adams of The Wall Street Journal write about how the Canadian Thomson family — one of the wealthiest in the world — is growing frustrated with the performance of Reuters in the wake of its deal to purchase the financial news and data company in 2007.

The trio writes, “Shortly after the deal’s completion, some Thomson executives began to resent what they saw as a ‘reverse takeover,’ say people familiar with the matter. Reuters’s chief at the time, Tom Glocer, became CEO of the combined company. He tapped a Reuters lieutenant to head the division that included financial information.

“There were cultural mismatches. At one point, professional-division head James Smith, from the Thomson side, delivered a no-frills, fact-laden presentation on the latest iteration of a desktop product for legal professionals. Among Reuters executives accustomed to flashier presentations, ‘there was a lot of snickering’ about how dry it was, said one person present. Through a Thomson Reuters spokesman, Mr. Smith declined to comment.

“An executive from the Reuters side presented on ‘Project Utah,’ a desktop product for traders that had yet to launch but for which a rollout was already envisaged that would include outdoor displays, live events and sponsorship of a “South Pole Expedition.”

“Project Utah morphed into Eikon, a kind of all-in-one desktop system aimed at competing with Bloomberg’s news, data and analysis terminals.”

Read more here.