Thomson Reuters mum about job cuts at Eagan campus

Thomson Reuters campus in Eagan
Thomson Reuters campus in Eagan

Leave it to a multinational media and financial data company to stay quiet when it becomes the news. Thomson Reuters has acknowledged that it will cut some jobs at its legal publishing division in Eagan but won't say how many or when.

The layoffs had been expected, although until Thursday it was unclear whether the company's plans for layoffs would affect the 7,000-person workforce here. Some employees had no idea of the news, even as we contacted them late in the day. Presumably they still have a job.

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In October, CEO Jim Smith got his fair share of grief for announcing his plans to downsize the company in a memo to his staff. About two-thirds of the way in -- after boasting of how much money the company made in the third quarter -- he dropped this:

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.

Talk about burying the lede.

When reached for more details, Reuters spokesman John Shaughnessy directed us to a statement relying almost verbatim on the same vague language that Smith used in his memo.

The closest anyone has come to giving a real answer lies in the transcript of a conference call from October. Smith reminded investors that the company employs 60,000 people in 100 countries and said there's plenty of room scale down. Then he referred to "simplifying back-shop processes," such as billing and IT, to lower overall costs.

Earlier this week, Reuters also announced that its top man in Eagan, Mike Suchsland, would leave at the end of the month. Neal St. Anthony of the Strib noted in his report that the company's legal division "saw its operating profit decline by 1 percent to $708 million for the first nine months of 2013 on revenue that increased by 3 percent to $2.48 billion."

Click through to the next page to read the full statement released Thursday by Reuters.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to [email protected]

  The full statement released Thursday by Reuters:

Thomson Reuters is routinely looking at ways to run our global business operations more efficiently and effectively. This disciplined approach sometimes includes the need to make personnel, or other, changes which allow us to balance our internal resources with the needs of our customers in a highly competitive environment. As Thomson Reuters CEO Jim Smith discussed in October while reporting our third‐quarter performance, this will include cutting approximately 3,000 positions around the business (primarily impacting F&R) to reduce complexity across our company and focus resources on opportunities with the greatest potential for growth. The changes announced to employees today in Eagan, and across the global business, are part of this initiative.

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