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Bill Gross Returns to His First Love

Bill Gross, a founder of Pimco, at the company's offices in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2009
Bill Gross, a founder of Pimco, at the company's offices in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2009Photograph by Stephanie Diani/The New York Times via Redux

In a stunning piece of news, Pimco co-founder and bond investor extraordinaire Bill Gross has left the firm he co-founded 43 years ago and decamped to Janus. It’s a sign that the tension and turmoil that have shaken Pimco in the past year or so were finally too much for him. According to news reports, the company had been preparing to fire him, although if the past is any indication, there are likely to be competing narratives about how the change transpired.

The Final Months of Bill Gross at Pimco
It had been clear for months that tension at Pimco was taking an enormous toll on Gross, who recently turned 70 and personally managed almost $500 billion worth of bond investments. In an interview for a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story in April, he described the unwelcome press attention of the preceding weeks: “It’s been like a near-death experience, an emotional blow. Whenever I read the newspaper, I say to myself, ‘At least my wife loves me.’ ”