Bloomberg LP, the media company that operates lucrative data terminals for financiers as well as an extensive journalism empire, said late Wednesday that current president and CEO Daniel L. Doctoroff will step down at the end of the year as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg resumes executive control of the company he founded in 1981.
Bloomberg, who still owns nearly 90% of the privately held company, will not name a replacement, since he plans to run it with support from other executives, the company said.
Doctoroff, 56, is a close friend of Bloomberg and served as his deputy mayor. He left the Bloomberg administration in 2008 to join Bloomberg LP as president and was elevated to the CEO job in July 2011.
“This is a sad day for me and my company,” said Bloomberg. “I really wanted Dan to stay and continue in his leadership role. But I understand his decision.”
After Bloomberg left the mayor’s office at the end of last year, it was assumed that he would spend some time at the company’s offices but focus more on his foundation and advocacy efforts. Bloomberg said he never intended to come back to Bloomberg LP after being away 12 years.
“However, the more time I spent reacquainting myself with the company, the more exciting and interesting I found it – in large part, due to Dan’s efforts,” he said. “I have gotten very involved in the company again and that led to Dan coming to me recently to say he thought it would be best for him to turn the leadership of the company back to me.”
Noting that he took Doctoroff’s offer “after significant pushback and great reluctance,” Bloomberg said the company, under Doctoroff’s guidance, set financial records every year and diversified its businesses, including an expansion into general news and redesigning Bloomberg Businessweek.
Its revenues increased from $5.4 billion in 2007 to more than $9 billion anticipated in 2014. Its market share in the financial information sector rose to 32% from 26% under Doctoroff’s watch, the company said. And its terminal subscribers have grown from 273,000 to 321,000 as the company sought new customers in emerging markets.
Bloomberg rejoins the company at a time of big changes and shifting priorities, which likely drove him to spend more time on its day-to-day operations at the Manhattan headquarters. Bloomberg Media, which hired former Atlantic Media President Justin Smith to overhaul its operations and strategies, is looking to introduce new products that target a broader audience that isn’t exclusively interested in finance and trading. The division, which is separate from the main wire service, Bloomberg News, plans to introduce new magazines, more video and topic-driven vertical sites.
The company is also boosting its political coverage, having hired veteran journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann to lead Bloomberg Politics. The duo, who co-wrote a book about the 2008 presidential election, “Game Change,” leads a team that will produce stories for online and the Bloomberg wire. They will also host a daily TV show.
“Leaving is not an easy decision, but it is the right one for the company, for Mike and for me at this stage of my life,” Doctoroff said. “It is and has always been Mike’s company and given his renewed interest and energy, it only makes sense for him to retake the helm.”