Reuters has named Niall FitzGerald, outgoing head of consumer goods outfit Unilever, as the successor to incumbent chairman Sir Christopher Hogg who is stepping down in October.
FitzGerald, a non-executive director of Reuters since 1 January 2003, has been chairman and chief executive of Unilever since 1996. He announced last month his intention to step down from those roles on 30 September 2004.
The departure of Sir Christopher Hogg from the top chair at Reuters has long been anticipated. After years of uninterrupted growth, he presided over Reuters' disastrous share price collapse as the company proved too slow and cumbersome to respond to the collapse of the Internet bubble and the threat of new competition.
Reuters' chief executive, Tom Glocer, paid tribute to Hogg's staying power: "He has stayed in the chair when it would have been far easier for him personally to retire and he has provided me with wise counsel and support."
Fitzgerald, a 37-year Unilever veteran, has also been in the wars recently, as Unilver twice revised growth forecasts last year after efforts to re-ignite sales fell flat.