Earlier this year, after Michael Bloomberg reasserted control over
the company he founded and began to scrutinize its online
operations, he suggested in a meeting that perhaps Bloomberg —
which makes the overwhelming majority of its money from desk
terminals that provide financial data — did not need to have a
Joshua Topolsky, the founder of a prominent technology website who
had been hired to oversee a glossy reintroduction of Bloomberg’s
web properties, responded sarcastically, making fun of the
suggestion, according to three people with knowledge of the
exchange, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mr. Bloomberg, who often challenges subordinates with provocative
questions, has grown accustomed to deference, the people said. He
was furious, and his relationship with Mr. Topolsky subsequently
deteriorated to the point that both decided it was better if Mr.