The announcement last week that Michael Bloomberg is returning to lead his namesake company is being called a stunning reversal and a surprise move.
Bloomberg long insisted he had no intention of returning to the helm of the media giant. Since the three-term mayor stepped down from his position leading New York City in January, speculation has been rampant over what his future would entail: gun control crusader, public health advocate, billionaire philanthropist, or potential presidential contender.
The business world is littered with the names of founders who leave their CEO job, only to return years later — whether to help right a listing ship, heal a bruised ego or regain control of their baby. But the idea that a founder would want to return to lead the company he built is actually one of the most familiar narratives in business. And it’s particularly true if the company is facing a kind of crossroads, as has been said about Bloomberg LP.
As Bloomberg told New York Magazine a year ago, he just seems to like running things.
“I am an executive,” he said when asked whether philanthropy would be big enough for him. “What I do is make decisions, hire people, get ’em to work together. I’m not a consultant, I’m not an investor, I’m not a teacher, I’m not an analyst. You have to know what your skillsets are.”