(Bloomberg) -- Mohamed El-Erian, who quit Pacific Investment Management in January amid reports of clashes with Bill Gross, said he was surprised by the events surrounding the departure of the star bond manager last week.

“His departure -- the fact that it happened and how it happened -- was a surprise,” El-Erian, 56, said today in an interview with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television. “What was not a surprise was the bench and a strong team led by Dan Ivascyn. They are superb,” said the former chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pimco.

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