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Message from Thomson-Reuter’s CEO Jim Smith to employees

This memo is used as an example of What were they thinking?
in the Exceptional Presence training program. It is preserved here for my clients.

From: Message from Jim Smith, CEO, Thomson Reuters
Sent: 29 October 2013 19:04
Subject: Third-quarter earnings and next steps

Dear Colleagues,

At the beginning of the month, I thanked you for all the work that has gone into building a solid foundation for our future success. Today, you can see the proof in our third-quarter performance.

I was particularly pleased to report that our Financial business achieved positive net sales for the first time in more than two years. This represents an important milestone in returning our Financial business to a growth footing. And it was one of several milestones achieved during the quarter.

Jim Smith

Jim Smith

As of this month, more than 100,000 Eikons have been installed on customers’ desks.

And finally, after years of talking about the need to replace our legacy Bridge Data Network, we migrated more than 17,000 Bridge users to Eikon and Elektron. I want to thank the teams who worked tirelessly to shut down Bridge on time and with minimal disruption to our customers.

This was the third major platform closure we’ve completed this year, and each one was completed on-time and on-budget.

With our Financial business back on a solid footing, it is time to press the accelerator and take Thomson Reuters to the next level of performance. How do we go from “good to great”? How do we deliver an even stronger value proposition to our customers? How do we build on our recent success and unlock the incredible talent inside this company? How do we improve our speed to market? How do we build even greater value for all our stakeholders?

The answer is to accelerate our evolution into a platform company – one that delivers to customers not just a portfolio of products, but the power of our entire enterprise. We have made progress on that front, but there’s still much to be done. To take the next step, today we set aside funding to further accelerate the transformation of our Financial business and to better align resources to our most promising opportunities.

We will eliminate approximately 3,000 positions as we continue to reduce product and operational complexity across our company. And we will focus our resources on supporting front-line teams on the ground in markets with the greatest potential for growth.

As we make these changes, our first priority will be to help the people impacted by these moves to find alternative jobs. These are tough decisions that we do not take lightly. But I thoroughly believe these steps are necessary to position our organization to thrive for years to come.

As I said a few weeks ago, we are beginning a new chapter in our company’s evolution. We’ve created the footprint and assembled the assets we need to win. The success of Eikon, Elektron and our unified platform has turned the tide for our Financial business. Now is the time to take decisive action and build from this position of newfound strength.

Some of the early steps in our journey will be difficult. We won’t get there overnight. But I assure you – we’re on a journey well worth taking.

Thank you for your hard work and continued support.


Jim Smith
Chief Executive Officer, Thomson Reuters

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