He never planned on a second act at Bloomberg LP, which he founded in 1981 and left 20 years later after being elected mayor of New York City.
After serving three terms at City Hall, Bloomberg insisted he was leaving the business and political worlds behind and would focus on his new grandchild and on using his philanthropic foundation to give away most of his $38 billion fortune, including for pet causes like climate change and gun control. But while he gave away $510 million last year, the pull of the business world proved too strong.
In the fall of 2014, Daniel Doctoroff, Bloomberg's former deputy mayor and chosen successor who directed the company's news division to target an expanded audience, stepped aside and Bloomberg assumed command again.
"When Mike left office, he officially had no role at the company. He wasn't even on the board," said Kevin Sheekey, head of external relations at Bloomberg LP and one of the ex-mayor's top political aides. "But Mike slowly began to get re-engaged with the day-to-day operations of the company and then (when he took over) once again very quickly became a very hands-on CEO."
He moved to return the terminal to the center of the company. The software, which costs $21,000 for an annual subscription, gives users a vast wealth of real-time business data and news, from investment analysis to market movement to live tracking of cargo ships across the globe so investors can knows instantly if, for example, a ship carrying oil bound for Africa is delayed by a storm, potentially sending demand (and prices) higher. And while companies like Bank of America and JP Morgan remain massive customers, the traditional financial world's contraction has pushed Bloomberg to growing its subscriber base — now at 327,000 — in new places like pension funds, foundations, mutual funds and endowments.