Pimco's Bill Gross: "I'm so sick of Mohamed trying to undermine me" but Pimco denies statement
Pacific Investment Management Co-Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross said that outgoing Chief Executive Officer Mohammed El-Erian was "trying to undermine" him when he talked to The Wall Street Journal about the increasing rift between them, Reuters reported.
In a phone interview with Reuters, the report quoted Gross as saying, "I'm so sick of Mohamed trying to undermine me." Gross added that he had evidence about an article that El-Erian "wrote" in The WSJ on February 24 detailing the increasing tension in their relationship which also featured an altercation between the two heads of Pimco at its California headquarters in Newport Beach. The square off was said to have occurred in front of their colleagues, the report said.
However, when Reuters asked Gross if he could provide them with the evidence that El-Erian had anything to do with the article, the report quoted him as saying, "You're on his side. Great, he's got you, too, wrapped around his charming right finger." He added that El-Erian had been talking with The WSJ and Reuters and also gave an indication that he was tracking the phone calls of El-Erian, the report said.
A Pimco spokesman denied that Gross ever made the statement. In an emailed statement to Reuters, the spokesman said, "Mr. Gross did not make the statements Reuters attributes to him. He categorically denies saying this firm ever listened in on Mr. El-Erian's phone calls or that Mr. El-Erian 'wrote' any previous media article." The spokesman added that since Pimco is a regulated company, it is "required to retain records of its employees' communications to help ensure compliance with the firm's policies," the report said.
Reuters asked a spokesman of Dow Jones about Gross's allegation that El-Erian "wrote" the article. The spokesman of The Wall Street Journal publisher said, "This is an astoundingly incorrect claim about a thoroughly reported article that was in the best tradition of The Wall Street Journal."