Reuters Names Unilever Boss Chairman

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(AP) Reuters Group PLC has named Unilever chairman Niall FitzGerald to take over as its new chairman on Oct. 1, the information group said Wednesday.

FitzGerald, 58, will succeed Sir Christopher Hogg, who announced last year that he would be stepping down.

FitzGerald has been a non-executive director of Reuters since January 2003. He has worked as chairman and chief executive of Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch household products maker, since 1996, and he announced last month that he planned to step down from those roles on Sept. 30.

FitzGerald has served previously as a non-executive director of Merck, Ericsson, Bank of Ireland and the Prudential Corp. He also is chairman of the Conference Board, president of the Advertising Association, co-chair of the trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue and a member of the Foundation Board of The World Economic Forum.

Reuters returned to profit in 2003 despite a sharp fall in revenues. The London-based company reported after-tax profits for the full year of 27 million pounds ($51 million), compared to a loss of 516 million pounds in 2002.

Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer said Reuters had passed the worst of a two-year slump.

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