THURSDAY 26 JAN 2023 4:25 PM


Jeannine Befidi, new chief communications officer at Thomson Reuters, discusses her approach to the role and why mental health will be at the top of her agenda.

How do you approach communications strategies across Thomson Reuters’ multiple business segments?

Thomson Reuters serves many different groups across a diverse range of industries – from small tax businesses, to governments around the world, to the consumers of the journalism provided by Reuters. We combine our unique, trusted content with world-class AI and machine learning and best-of-breed software to power the world’s most informed professionals. 

Our communications strategy starts with putting our customers and their stories front and centre - my talented team of communications professionals focuses on telling these important stories to the world. 

Joining my senior leadership team are Julia Commons, joining as vice president, corporate affairs and product communications, and Marique Beard, joining as vice president, internal communications. We have a fantastic team in place, and we’re set to do great things in 2023. 

Is it possible to unite stakeholders across all business areas under a common purpose?  

Yes, it is. At Thomson Reuters, we serve customers whose work genuinely matters. When our customers succeed, justice and taxation systems, global commerce and news and information ecosystems thrive.  

The success of these systems is the bedrock of functioning societies. 

Through our purpose – to "inform the way forward" – we acknowledge the role we play in this equation, while uniting our commercial and societal responsibilities: to increase knowledge, to act with courage and integrity and to pursue justice, truth and transparency. 

Thomson Reuters promotes ‘Trust Principles’, which were first adopted in 1941. How can companies inspire trust today?  

While we do live in a world of continued uncertainty, doubt, and misinformation, companies can – and need to – inspire confidence. 

Simply put, trust matters.  

To build and maintain trust, companies need to clearly state their values and principles while also providing a practical resource to check policies and guide decisions. This will help guide the company on how it engages with customers, business partners, colleagues and communities.  

Our trust principles are a great example of how we preserve Thomson Reuters' independence, integrity and freedom from bias in the gathering and dissemination of information and news.  

Communications teams play a big role here. They are the custodians of corporate reputation, which is ultimately built on trust. The work they do to protect their reputation as an asset will have a massive impact on how existing and prospective customers think and feel about the organisation.  

As a Mayo Clinic-certified wellness coach, will wellness be integral to your approach?  

Absolutely. The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program helped me become a confident wellness coach and assist individuals in identifying their values and desires, transforming them into action and maintaining lasting change over time. This in turn has helped me progress in both my career, and in my capacity as a leader in a corporate environment – understanding the whole person is integral to being a good leader. 

Thomson Reuters has a dedicated focus on the mental health and wellbeing of its team members, which is one of the reasons why I’m happy to rejoin the company. I’m excited to work across the organisation to create awareness, support, open and safe conversations, and change how we work and lead so that our team members – and our business – can thrive.  

What are the key areas of focus for driving Thomson Reuters' communications functions forward?  

As we close out the Thomson Reuters 'Change' program – designed to transform Thomson Reuters from a holding company to a content-driven technology company – the communications function is focused on articulating the next part of our journey to our stakeholders. 

Our strategy is clear, and our business has momentum. We’re looking forward, and through our communications programs, we will continue to demonstrate that Thomson Reuters is a leading content, product, and technology company, all while living our purpose. 

How will your experience in the technology sector help to reaffirm Thomson Reuters’ reputation as a provider of business information services? 

Prior to returning to Thomson Reuters, I served as vice president, global employee communications, at Ceridian, building the corporate narrative and engaging employees in the company's global transformation. I’ve also held senior communications and leadership roles at Target, Health Partners and 3M. 

My experience in the technology sector – and my knowledge of Thomson Reuters from my first time with the company – has provided me with a unique outside and inside view. I believe that this well-rounded perspective of both the company and the landscape it operates in will allow our communications team to deliver on our business, customer and people goals.