Bloomberg senior executive editor Collins becomes chief product and tech officer

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Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait sent the following memo to Editorial & Research staff today.

To All in Editorial & Research,

In modern journalism producing great content is only half the job; you have to use every conceivable piece of technology to make sure it reaches your audience. At Bloomberg, that principally means the Terminal user – perhaps the cleverest and most valuable audience in the world, but also understandably the most demanding one.

As long as I have been here, we have tried to build a closer relationship with Product — and indeed Engineering and Data. In recent years, under Chris Collins‘s leadership on our side, those deeper ties have paid enormous dividends in terms of the many new ways our most valued consumers can now absorb our content. Just look at the strides forward in AI-assisted coverage and the professional mobile app. The way we cover earnings now is completely different even from what it was three years ago. We are right at the front of the future of news – and we have seen the results in terms of the rising number of readers.

But in other ways, we’re only just getting started. The word discoverability appeared prominently at the front of all our business plans this year. The personalization of news has only just begun. As journalists who use the Terminal every day, we can all see the enormous opportunities in terms of improving the user experience through even better products – from more sophisticated datagraphics to the design of TOP and CN to the adaption of even greater AI (just look at Chat GPT-3).

So after a lot of discussion with Vlad Kliatchko, we think it is time to make a bold move to deepen those ties with Product — and we will now restructure the way we fashion our news product on the Terminal.

Chris will therefore move to Terminal Product and become Chief Product & Technology Officer for a newly created department — News Product, Technology and Publishing. He will take with him Monique White’s Technology & Tools team, Dan Guest’s Product Strategy team, Claudia Quinonez‘s Innovation Lab as well as Steve Foxwell, Lauren Berry and most of their groups. The existing Core News group will also report to Chris.

Their job will be to build more sophisticated journalistic tools, and to ensure users can get the content they need, when and where they need it. To be clear, all editorial and coverage decisions will obviously remain in Editorial. But the opportunity from greater collaboration with Chris’s new group is immense, especially in terms of faster innovation around tools and products and a deeper understanding of our audience.

This is part of a wider reorganization in Product focused on improving our Terminal experience (you can read Vlad’s memo here).

Chris’s switch comes after 24 years as a journalist here, during which time he ran Europe and then Asia, built and led the Breaking News group, and oversaw all of our Markets coverage globally. I have asked Heather Harris to take over Markets, including Deals, from Chris’s current responsibilities. So Jenny Paris, Celeste Perri, Vivianne Rodrigues, Paul Dobson, Dan Hauck and Chris Nagi will now report to Heather. Katherine Cho (Breaking News) and Matt Miller (24/7) will report to Reto. He will also take over the secondary reporting line for the regional news desks so we can do more to integrate them with Matt’s global team (the news desk main reporting lines will stay with the regional chiefs). Christine Harper and her Markets magazine and QuickTake team will now report into David Merritt. We will make all these adjustments in the coming weeks.

But I would like to end where I began. Over the past eight years, our relationship with Product has been transformed — and everybody, including the rising number of News users on the Terminal, has gained from that. But now is the time to take our relationship to a different level. This is an incredibly exciting time in terms of News technology. And Bloomberg should be at the front of this revolution. Congratulations to Chris and his new group – and we will all look forward to seeing what they do.

John


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