Thomson Reuters has announced the appointment of a chairman and chief executive for its Foundation, the charitable arm of the newly merged global news agency.
Richard Harrington, the former Thomson president, has been appointed chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He will be joined by former Reuters Media managing director Monique Villa, who takes the role of chief executive.
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Villa joined Reuters in 2000 from Agence France Presse, where she had worked as a correspondent before being promoted to bureau chief for the UK and Ireland and director of strategy.
The new foundation, born out of the Reuters Foundation, is responsible for journalism training and part-funds the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which is based at Oxford University.
The group is registered as a charity and run by a board of trustees, including former Reuters Foundation chairman Geert Linnebank, Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger and a number of independent directors.
Thomson Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer said: “The foundation underpins Thomson Reuters’ business strategy with a central commitment to the communities in which we do business.”
Thomson Reuters officially began trading on 17 April, born from the £8.7bn merger of Canadian news provider Thomson and 157-year-old London-based agency Reuters.
The group placed large ads running across three pages in most of the major international financial newspapers to herald the launch, with a new slogan: “Knowledge to act”.
The launch comes almost a year after the Canadian news agency first approached its London-based rival with a takeover offer. The newly merged company has 50,000 employees with operations in 93 counties, and a combined turnover of more than £6bn a year.
The move had prompted concern from journalists’ unions on both sides of the Atlantic that Reuters’ editorial independence would be sacrificed.
Journalists at the group said last week that they feared compulsory redundancies could be imposed following the merger.
The Thomson NUJ chapel has considered industrial action after it passed a motion condemning ‘management’s insistence that there will be job losses in editorial and that some of these will be forced through as compulsory redundancies.”