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BW Businessworld

Back In The Saddle

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The Feeling was one of a loss of a big opportunity. This writer was all keyed up for an interview with Daniel Doctoroff when word came on 3 September that the President and CEO of Bloomberg LP would be stepping aside in December to make way for founder promoter Michael Bloomberg. Expectedly, Doctoroff’s plans to visit India were aborted.

The big change at the top of the $9-billion media empire was significant considering Bloomberg had repeatedly said he did not intend to ever go back to a corporate role at his company.

Having exited from his duties as Mayor of New York, Bloomberg obviously missed the adrenalin of running a big and powerful organisation. He conceded as much in his statement: “I really wanted Dan to stay and continue in his leadership role. But I understand his decision.  I never intended to come back to Bloomberg LP after 12 years as mayor.  However, the more time I spent reacquainting myself with the company, the more exciting and interesting I found it. 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.”

Though both deny it, in recent months the American press has been reporting tiffs between Bloomberg and Doctoroff over not being consulted over decisions. There was also the issue of Matthew Wrinkler, head of Bloomberg’s news division, whom Doctoroff would have preferred ousting but had to live with since he was hand-picked by Bloomberg.

All this does not take away from Doctoroff’s leadership which saw Bloomberg LP growing during his tenure from $5.4 billion in 2007 to over $9 billion in 2014 and increasing its share in the financial information sector from 26 per cent to 32 per cent. It also added 500 reporters pushing up the global editorial head count to 2,400, and grew its terminal business from 273,000 to 321,000 subscribers.

Meanwhile, Nitin Jaiswal, Bloomberg’s head of sales, South Asia and ASEAN, told BW that the company had launched a new tool to assess credit default risk for the Indian market, which had been used to put together the inaugural India Credit Report. The report found that credit default risk of Asian firms had improved across the board since 2008. The median default risk of Indian firms, however, was higher than those of other Asian, US and European firms.

Jaiswal also said that Bloomberg was collaborating with 26 Indian universities to design curriculum and help with training. The students, who were trained on the Bloomberg terminals and financial tools, provided the opportunity for Bloomberg’s future expansion, he said.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 06-10-2014)