The autumn years of an enormously successful career spent exclusively on philanthropy is not to be—Michael Bloomberg has returned, albeit awkwardly, to the head of Bloomberg L.P., probably because he just couldn't deal with the tedium of not being in charge.
Daniel Doctoroff, Bloomberg's lackey who was keeping the chair warm while his boss completed an improbable third term as mayor, will be leaving the company at the end of the year so Bloomberg can continue to steer the company he founded.
In a sit-down with Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, Doctoroff tried to explain Bloomberg's seemingly amiable return in the most humble of terms. “Mike is kind of like God at the company. He created the universe," Doctoroff said. "He issued the Ten Commandments and then he disappeared. And then he came back. You have to understand that when God comes back, things are going to be different. When God reappeared, people defer.”
The Almighty GODBERG had told the press as recently as last week that he would focus his life solely on philanthropy by giving away a majority of his $32.8 billion fortune. But GODBERG soon grew restless.
"When Mike decided he wanted to spend some time at the company, and then spent more time, obviously things changed,” Doctoroff told the Times. “It isn’t the job I had for the past six years. It’s his — he wants to be involved. He doesn’t want to consult with me on everything. I get that.”
Under Doctoroff, Bloomberg L.P. remained immensely profitable, but it was not without its fair share of scandal. There were accusations of spying by Bloomberg reporters on companies that used Bloomberg terminals, as well as a series of articles allegedly killed because they painted the tyrannical Chinese government in a negative light. In short, Bloomberg the finance company was influencing Bloomberg the news company.
This doesn't look to change under Bloomberg, who claimed he remained completely uninvolved with the finance and news company while mayor. The Times lets drop a seemingly innocuous tidbit towards the end of the piece that contradicts this: "Mr. Bloomberg also played a pivotal role in creating Bloomberg View, an op-ed project started in 2011 that publishes opinion pieces from brand-name journalists."
This would be 2011, a year he was most certainly mayor. As recently as last year, Bloomberg reminded constituents that he had no role in the news organization because, as mayor, he was barred from participating. Now that he's returned to his company, he's making it painfully clear he wasn't as uninvolved as he claimed.
Whether Bloomberg will actually be fined for such a blatant conflict of interest remains to be seen, although that would just mean less he could give away, which, because philanthropy bores him so, might actually sit nicely with Mike.