David Thomson is known as a media magnate. Chairman of the Thomson Corporation and Thomson Reuters, he ranks the 26th place in the Forbes list of the world richest businessmen. Also David Kenneth Roy Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet and his family were stated to be the wealthiest family in Canada in 2010.
David Thomson belongs to the Thomson dynasty, now in the third generation. The family business was started by his grandfather, the first Lord Thomson of Fleet, after he arrived at his Mississauga, Ont., in 1964. Then the empire passed to Kenneth Roy Thomson.
Roy Thomson wrote in the 1975 memoir: "These Thomson boys that come after Ken are not going to be able, even if they want to, to shrug off those responsibilities. The conditions of the trusts ensure that control of the business will remain in Thomson hands for 80 years." So now David Thomson is in charge of the family business.
David Thomson graduated from the Upper Canada College where he received the degree of BA (Bachelor of Arts), later he upgraded this degree to Master of Arts in the University of Cambridge.
In 1994, he gave a detailed interview about the Upper Canada College for the book Old Boy by James FitzGerald. This interview is considered to be the only broad interview David Thomson has ever given.
David Thomson worked in the companies originally owned and run by his family. So he started as a manager of The Bay store at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, and President of Zellers.
Then he brought into being the real estate firm Osmington Incorporated. These days Osmington is involved as a partner in True North Sports and Entertainment that owns the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets and the MTS Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In 2006 David Thomson became the chairman of Thomson Corporation.
In 2008 he acquired Reuters and became the chairman of the formed entity, Thomson Reuters.
Also he’s the chairman of Woodbridge, the Thomson family investment company, and the chairman of The Globe and Mail Inc., a Canadian media company.
As a young man, David expressed his views on business success in a rare interview with Peter C. Newman: “I wish to prolong those inspired moments in life and see them continually manifested in all areas of endeavour,” he said. “My search is always to create new wealth.”
“When you try to live a more balanced life, traditional businessmen think that you are not a real man. But who is not the real man? You are telling me? You have not taken a weekend with your wife, you have no spare time that you use constructively, you do not have any hobbies, you do not know how to spell Mozart. And here you are telling me that I am weak?”
Unlike most businessmen David Thomson sometimes visits business meetings in jogging clothes or cargo pants, or wearing sneakers. He wears suits and shoes for several years before replacing them.
Another feature of his identity that makes him different from other businessmen is his willingness to communicate with the rank and file of the company rather than with top executives.
Moreover he highly appreciates privacy. He never gives interview and tries to prevent media involvement into his privacy, there’s scarce number of photos of him.
Although he dislikes his private life going public there’s an article published by Maclean’s in 2006 about the failure of his second marriage. Also a sensation was made out of his relationship with Kelly Rowan .
David Thomson describing himself: "I'm a very competitive individual and I play a part in a very large picture and hopefully add value to people's lives."
: David Thomson is a tall, lean, blond-haired man with blue eyes.
“Kenneth Roy Thomson about his son:
"It's the thrill of building something, whether it be a company, art or relationships with people. I honestly believe David's got what it takes. He's real good"."People are underestimating David," Ken Thomson added. "They are a little apprehensive about him because he is very outspoken, but he is very intelligent, highly intelligent, in fact."
“He collects art and he has this sensitivity, and yet at the same time he has this burden of carrying on the family business, and he feels he has to be this ruthless businessman.''”
A passionate art lover, the quality he got from his father, David Thomson supports many art foundations. He and his family own a varied art collection. It includes masterpieces of Pablo Picasso and 19th- century seascape artist John Constable.
In general he’s more enthusiastic about his hockey team and art collections than about his business.
The parents of David Thomson are Kenneth Roy Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet and Nora Marilyn Lavis Thomson.
He was twice married. The first time it was Mary Lou La Prairie, the marriage lasted from 1988 to 1996. From 2000 to 2006 he was married to Laurie Ludwick. After the second divorce he had relations with Kelly Rowan (2007-2008).
David Thomson has four children.