LONDON (AFP) – The online financial information giant Thomson Reuters has decided to axe 140 editorial positions as part of wider staff cuts, a spokeswoman for the recently formed group said on Monday.
There was no immediate word on the reductions in other areas, but media reports have said the group would probably shed up to 1,500 people across all of its divisions.
Spokeswoman Victoria Brough confirmed an email sent to Thomson Reuters staff, seen by AFP on Monday, which outlined the initial job cuts.
“Unfortunately, the overlap we’ve found (since creation of the new group) and our need to run the operation efficiently means that we will have to eliminate around 140 jobs world wide by the end of the year,” the email said.
Thomson Reuters added that its editorial arm, Reuters News, should look to trim its staff count to about 2,500 by the end of 2008.
“More than half the cuts will occur in Europe, the area of most duplication; the rest will be scattered,” added the internal email.
Thomson Reuters, a new leading provider of financial data to rival Bloomberg, was created on April 17 following the takeover by Canada’s Thomson Corp of Britain-based online and news agency company Reuters for 8.7 billion pounds (11.5 billion euros, 17 billion dollars).
Thomson had previously bought European financial news agency AFX.
Thomson Reuters, which employs a total of 50,000 staff globally, said it would immediately begin consultation with affected unions, works councils and staff regarding the 140 job losses.
Earlier this month it was announced that Britain-based reporters at the Thomson Financial News wire service would vote on whether to strike following the creation of parent group Thomson Reuters.
The National Union of Journalists said its members at Thomson Financial News had called unanimously for a formal ballot to strike over possible redundancies and changes to their working conditions.
The creation of Thomson Reuters combines Thomson Corp’s presence in the United States with Reuters’ penetration of markets for trading, financial and business information in Britain and continental Europe.
The new group covers sectors including accounting, finance, healthcare, law, media and science.