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10 Feb, 2022 09:13

Billionaire tapped for Pentagon job

Ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will head the Defense Innovation Board
Billionaire tapped for Pentagon job

Michael Bloomberg, the owner of one of the leading global business news providers, is set to chair the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, DOD spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday. He said the multibillionaire will “leverage his experience and strategic insights on innovation, business and public service.”

The Pentagon said it wants to tap into Bloomberg’s “wealth of experience… as an innovator in business, government, and philanthropy.” The businessman, 79, said he was honored to work with the Department of Defense, “our largest government agency,” to “help bring new ideas and outside perspective that can help protect Americans and our values, interests, and allies around the world.”

The Bloomberg Data Terminal owner will be succeeding Mark Sirangelo, the former CEO of rocket and satellite company SpaceDev. Sirangelo was appointed to the position under the Trump administration.

The Defense Innovation Board was created in 2016 to advise the Pentagon on how to adopt Silicon Valley’s experience in innovation for the military. Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt served as its first chair, before being replaced by Sirangelo in 2020.

The board was scrapped in the final days of the Trump administration, along with a number of other advisory bodies. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reinstated it and eight others on Wednesday.

In addition to running a news business that helped make him one of the richest people in the world, Bloomberg served as the mayor of New York between 2002 to 2013. He switched parties and sought the Democratic nomination for president during the 2020 election cycle, but failed to win public support in the primaries and eventually endorsed Joe Biden’s candidacy.