Bill Gross Calls Into CNBC To Respond To The Scathing WSJ Article

PIMCO’s Bill Gross called into CNBC to react to an unflattering Wall Street Journal article about his personality clashes with Mohammed El-Erian.

Last month, El-Erian, the co-CIO, unexpectedly announced that he was resigning from PIMCO.

“The conflict between Mohammed and myself is overblown,” Gross told CNBC.

CNBC anchor Brian Sullivan asked Gross if there were any factual errors in the article.

Gross didn’t give a clear answer.

“I don’t want to quarrel with Greg Zuckerman and his story,” Gross said.

In case you missed the WSJ article, it basically made Gross sound like a jerk.

According to the Journal, Gross had a major clash with El-Erian in front of the other employees.

From the WSJ:

“I have a 41-year track record of investing excellence,” Mr. Gross told Mr. El-Erian, according to the two witnesses. “What do you have?”

“I’m tired of cleaning up your s — ,” Mr. El-Erian responded, referring to conduct by Mr. Gross that he felt was hurting Pimco, these two people recall.

Sources also told the Journal that Gross later referred to himself as “Secretariat,” the undefeated racehorse.

From the WSJ:

Late last year, in front of a number of traders, Mr. Gross said, “if only Mohamed would let me, I could run all the $US2 trillion myself…I’m Secretariat,” referring to the famed thoroughbred. “Why would you bet on anyone other than Secretariat?”

The article also said that Gross doesn’t let his traders make eye contact with him or speak to him in the morning.

From the WSJ:

On the trading floor, Mr. Gross doesn’t like employees speaking with him or making eye contact, especially in the morning, current and former employees say. He prefers silence and at times reprimands those who break it, even if they’re discussing investments, these people say.

In response to that, Gross admitted that he’s “not a morning person.”

He told CNBC that he instituted a time at 8 a.m. where employees “could play their own rock songs.” He said he also instituted “a congo line to let employees know it’s OK to scream and shout and let it all out.”

“Yeah, I thought that was very unfair.”

CNBC Anchor Brian Sullivan asked him if he’s friends with El-Erian.

“He’s always been a good friend,” Gross said, explaining that they are both involved in philanthropy with their wives.

It was difficult to understand Gross who was calling into CNBC. Sullivan asked him about it.

“I’m on my wife’s mobile phone. We have a medical situation.”

“Now I feel like a jerk,” Sullivan responded.

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