Kenneth Thomson died in June 2006, the company was treasured at about $29.3 billion (Bell & Schneider, 2007). The family fortune passed on to Kens sons David K.R. Thomson and his brother, Peter J. Thomson after their father's death. The Thomson family controlled the corporation through a family-owned entity, The Woodbridge Company, based in Toronto. Roy Thomson planned to keep the business in the family since its creation (Austen, 2006). Roy Thomson wrote in his autobiography, These Thomson boys that come after Ken are not going to be able, even if they want to, to shrug off these responsibilities" (Austen, 2006).
In 1978, the possession of Wadsworth Publishing provided Thomson with its first entry into specialized information, college textbooks and professional books (Austen, 2006). In 1989, the Thomson Corporation merged with Thomson Newspapers and the International Thomson Organization. Over the years, the company has stepped away from its involvement in the oil and gas business, the travel industry and department stores (ThomsonRueters.com, 2008).
Starting in the mid-1990s, Thomson invested additional in specialized information services providing them in digital format and began selling off its newspapers. By 1996, The Thomson Corporation successfully doubled its size and ensured future profitability by purchasing West Publishing, including Westlaw. In recent years, Thomson provided much of the specialized information content the world's financial, legal, research and medical organizations rely on every day to make business-critical decisions and drive innovation. While it remained a publishing company, early and insistent investment in electronic delivery had become a key company goal (ThomsonRueters.com, 2008).
"Except for its educational division, which still publishes a substantial number of conventional textbooks, Thomson had the good fortune to move into these businesses as customers were demanding electronic delivery of View More »