May 17, 2013 / 5:10 PM / in 5 years

Bloomberg appoints former IBM chief to advise on data issues

NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Bloomberg LP appointed former IBM Chairman and CEO Samuel Palmisano as an independent adviser on security and data issues, as the company seeks to address customers’ concerns about possible breaches in the confidentiality of their usage data.

The news and financial data company said on Friday that Palmisano will report to its board of directors and he will immediately undertake a review of current policies for client data and end-user information.

Bloomberg said last week that its reporters had limited access to some data considered proprietary, including when a customer logs in or looks for information on assets such as equities or bonds. Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler apologized after a major client, Goldman Sachs Group , lodged complaints.

Since then, other Bloomberg clients, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and government agencies across the globe, have said they were looking into the issue.

The appointment of Palmisano comes after Bloomberg named a chief data compliance officer last week.

“We want to go even further and get the benefit of independent leading experts so that we set the new standard for privacy and data security,” Daniel Doctoroff, Bloomberg’s CEO and president, said in a statement.

Palmisano was IBM’s chief executive from 2002 until January 2012 and held the post of the company’s chairman from 2003 until last September. He serves on the boards of ExxonMobil, American Express and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Bloomberg said its board has also hired the law firm Hogan Lovells and the financial services consulting firm Promontory Financial Group to help Palmisano implement any recommendations.

The company also asked Clark Hoyt, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News, to conduct a review of the newsroom’s relationship with the sales organization. Hoyt, who served as the New York Times’s public editor from 2007 until 2010, will report to Doctoroff.

Privately held Bloomberg, which competes with Thomson Reuters Corp , gets the bulk of its revenue from terminal sales to financial institutions. The company has more than 315,000 terminal subscribers globally, with each Bloomberg terminal costing roughly $20,000 a year. Last year, it posted revenue of $7.9 billion.

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