Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #22, David Thomson
22 As Canada’s richest person and chairman of news and financial-info giant Thomson Reuters, the media magnate is the public face, however reluctantly, of his family’s $30.7-billion fortune and its private holding company, Woodbridge. In August, Woodbridge acquired full ownership of the Globe and Mail, which is preparing to migrate to the new Diamond Schmitt–designed King East Centre in 2016. Then, in October, Thomson Reuters opened an innovation lab in Waterloo, a research and development hub that will study and experiment with the company’s vast swaths of legal, health care and business information, and partner with the region’s start-ups and universities. Decreasing demand from cost-cutting clients and a strong American dollar reduced Thomson Reuters’ revenues through the first half of 2015 by four per cent compared to last year (from about $8.2 billion to $7.9 billion). But the company’s various budget-controlling measures, including cutting some 3,000 jobs in late 2013, have increased operating profits by approximately $94 million—a result that spurred a single-day share growth of four per cent in July, the best one-day increase in four years. Thomson also co-owns both the Winnipeg Jets, through True North Sports and Entertainment, and the Montreal Canadiens, through Woodbridge.
Up Next: Through his real-estate management company, Osmington, Thomson is the force behind the $1-billion revitalization of Union Station, which is scheduled for completion in late 2017.