William H. Gross said he was fired from Pacific Investment Management Co., the first time he has publicly stated he was dismissed from the firm he co-founded in 1971.
Mr. Gross, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg View's Barry Ritholtz, said he offered to step down from the executive committee and compensation committee and oversee closed-end funds after differences with management over his personality and business direction.
“For some reason still unbeknownst to me, they didn't think that was a good idea and they did fire me,” Mr. Gross, who managed the world's largest bond fund until his unexpected departure on Sept. 26 when he joined Janus Capital Group, said in the interview. “In the last few weeks, it blindsided me; I had no idea that an executive committee could fire a founder and the titular leader of the company.”
Mr. Gross left PIMCO after deputies including now-group Chief Investment Officer Daniel Ivascyn said they would quit, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mark Porterfield, a spokesman for PIMCO, didn't immediately return an e-mail and telephone message seeking comment.
Mr. Gross said he visited a neighbor, a retired air force general, after his exit from PIMCO. As he was leaving, the retired general said Mr. Gross should have visited six months earlier because he could have taught him the first rule of the military.
“I said, 'What's that?' and he said: 'Watch your back,'” Mr. Gross said.