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Pimco's Bill Gross Picks Up the Pieces

Abandoned by his heir apparent, Bill Gross ponders PIMCO’s future and wonders, am I such a jerk?

Behind this week's cover
Photograph by Joe Pugliese/August

There is no one who talks quite like Bill Gross, the co-founder of Pimco. He is perhaps the most influential financial manager of the past two decades, yet his stories involve an equal mix of whimsy and sheepishness, with fragments of Joni Mitchell songs, Howdy Doody vignettes, and references to classic American diner food offered in the singsong voice of a Dr. Seuss character. But it’s his tendency to speak about himself in the third person that takes the most getting used to. “Our Gross has not been a happy camper for the last two months,” he says one morning in late March, sighing deeply. “But an unhappy captain still has to steer the ship through the rocks.”