In the weeks that followed, Gross tried to close ranks. He spent more than 20 minutes before a firm-wide meeting to discuss the media scrutiny that had beset the company, a speech in which he disparaged El-Erian, according to two people. When he ended to a standing ovation from the audience, including Hodge and Ivascyn, at least one executive declined to rise. Thimons, a managing director outspoken in his objections to Gross’s leadership, disagreed with his comments and refused to stand, according to a person who was present. El-Erian’s departure had prompted media scrutiny and reports of clashes between El-Erian and Gross. The Wall Street Journal cited one example where Gross complained that El-Erian wouldn’t let him run the firm’s entire $2 trillion in assets…To stop the reports, Gross set up interrogations of members of the investment committee, managing directors, and lower-ranking money managers. He carried around a three-ring binder of printed-out e-mails and hand-written notes to find out who was talking to the press. Among his suspects were Balls, a former journalist, and Thimons, the executive who had remained seated during the standing ovation and who had organized a going-away party for El-Erian. — Bloomberg News, December 3, 2014
- Security camera footage of the office break room showing a young trader offering El-Erian a bite of his sandwich?
- Eyewitness accounts of a member of the investment committee shaking El-Erian’s hand on his last day of work?
- Chicken scratch that said something about how he was almost sure he saw two executive assistants mocking the birthday party he’d held for Bob The Cat last year. He was on the other side of the room so “not positive” but can read lips so pretty certain?