Rhoads given top Reuters job

Thomson Reuters has appointed its North Asia editor as one of the agency’s three regional managing editors.

Brian Rhoads, 42, will be managing editor for North, Central and South America beginning on 29 September.

In his new role, he will head up a region that includes around 650 of the agency’s 2,500 journalists.

Like the agency’s two other managing editors – Europe, Middle East and Africa managing editor Mark Thompson, and Asia managing editor Adrian Dickson – Rhoads will report to global managing editor Betty Wong, who previously held the role of Americas Managing Editor.

Rhoads is currently based in Beijing, where he is responsible for more than 100 Reuters journalists’ coverage of China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

His move to New York will see him shuttle between overseeing two of the year’s major stories – next month’s Beijing Olympics and the final stages of the US presidential election in October.

‘Over the past eight years I’ve basically had a front-row seat to China’s emergence on the international stage,’Rhoads told Press Gazette.

He recalled Reuters’ 2002 coverage of Chinese interest rate cuts was not widely picked up by the world’s press. Two years later, a single sentence in an interview with Chinese premier Wang Jao Bao moved markets worldwide, he said.

‘With one sentence, ‘China will take forceful action to reign in overheating sectors of the economy’ he basically sent every major stock market down,’Rhoads recalled.

‘The world had woken up to the fact that China was importing vast amounts of commodities to fuel its economic boom and China’s economy was becoming intertwined increasingly with the rest of the world. It really never stops here now.”

‘It’s all been a very good warm-up lap for my posting as head of Reuters for the Americas,’he added.

Rhoads, who is fluent in Mandarin, first went to China in the late Eighties to teach English at a Beijing university. He was in the country during the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.

‘From that moment, I wanted to be a reporter in Beijing,’he said.

He worked as a general assignment reporter for daily newspapers in San Francisco before joining the agency in 1996. Since then, he has worked as an editor on the news production desks in Hong Kong and Singapore for five years.

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