Remember, back in January, when Pimco co-CEO Mohamed El-Erian announced he was leaving the firm, and founder Bill Gross lost his mind? And did things like call up people at Reuters and demand they report that El-Erian had ghost written a Wall Street Journal article about tension at the firm, as part of a campaign to "undermine" Gross? And "indicated that [he knew this because] he had been monitoring El-Erian's phone calls"? And when he couldn't convince anyone to print the story, snapped "You're on his side. Great, he's got you, too, wrapped around his charming right finger"? And then went on Bloomberg TV and demanded El-Erian violate his NDA by meeting Gross in a public forum and telling him to his face why he left (even though Gross really kind of already knew)? And was more or less forced to take remedial classes re: how to be okay with people looking him in the eye and speaking to him in general? In an interview earlier this week, El-Erian said he did not see any of this coming, even from Secretariat.
Mohamed El-Erian expected to go quietly. The one-time heir apparent to Pimco investment chief Bill Gross had no idea leaving the firm would create a fire storm, and he gave no real consideration to staying on and working less. In his most extensive discussion yet about his controversial decision in January to leave Pimco, which has nearly $2 trillion in assets, El-Erian told Reuters: "If I had known that there would be this media circus, I would've done a lot of things differently."
When it comes down to it, though, there really weren't too many options re: different ways to go, as "A part-time position" in order to ease the transition "would have felt inconsistent with his style." But clearly the way it went down was simply too abrupt for Bill Gross, so perhaps things would've been slightly less bumpy if El-Erian had communicated to the higher-ups at Allianz that he was done working for Pimco, but for at least a couple of months continued driving to the Newport Beach office every morning, popped his head into Gross's office, said something like "Hey chief, I'm gonna do a coffee run, you want anything?" and then simply not come back for the rest of the day. Good-byes are hard for some people.
Related: Mohammed El-Erian May Have Left Pimco Because Of A Chronic And Debilitating Condition That Caused Him To Regularly Look People In The Eye; Don’t Get Caught On “His” Side: A Survival Guide For Pimco Employees; Pimco Investor Considering Pulling Out Over Secretariat’s Erratic Behavior, Some Other Stuff; The New Bill Gross Doesn’t Bite (And If He Does It’s Only Because Old Habits Die Hard); Cheesecake And Kisses: Bill Gross Reflects