Dalio dials back role at Bridgewater as Rubinstein exits

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Jon Rubinstein, the former Apple executive brought in as co-chief executive of Bridgewater, is leaving the hedge fund after less than a year, in another burst of management turnover at the company.

Ray Dalio, Bridgewater founder, told clients on Wednesday that he and Mr Rubinstein “mutually agree that he is not a cultural fit” for the hedge fund, and Mr Rubinstein will be replaced as co-CEO by David McCormick, the company’s president. Mr McCormick had recently been linked with a number of jobs in the Trump administration.

At the same time, Mr Dalio announced that he will relinquish the title of co-CEO, the latest step in a long and fraught transition of power at the company he founded in 1975.
Bridgewater is the best-performing hedge fund of all time, having returned $49.4bn in net gains since its inception, according to LCH Investments, the fund of hedge funds run by the Edmond de Rothschild group. The only other manager who comes close is George Soros, who has made $41.8bn since 1973.

Mr Rubinstein, nicknamed “the Podfather” for his role in creating the iPod during 16 years at Apple, joined the company last May, when Bridgewater said it needed a co-CEO with strong technology experience.

In a memo to clients, seen by the Financial Times, Mr Dalio said Mr Rubinstein will become an external adviser to the hedge fund.

Bridgewater says that about one in five of the people it hires fail to fit in to the culture and leave within their first year. Mr Dalio imposes what he calls “radical truth and radical transparency” at the company, encouraging employees to openly air disagreements and challenge each other.

Mr Dalio, 67, stepped back into a co-CEO role last year after another shake-up in which a once-favoured potential successor, Greg Jensen, was stripped of the title following disagreements and mutual dissatisfaction over each other’s handling of the succession process, which Mr Dalio set in train seven years ago.

“Any organisation run by a 60+ year old that says that it isn’t in transition is either naive or disingenuous,” he said in the memo. “We allowed for this transition to take up to 10 years because we knew that getting things right would take some adjusting of the ways we did things and some trial and error.

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