The following email was sent to Bridgewater employees on January 3, 2022:
There are two important events in Bridgewater’s evolution which are happening simultaneously: 1) the next big step in the transition of Bridgewater's leadership and ownership from Ray to our great and well-established team which has been effectively running Bridgewater for the last six years and 2) David’s decision to step down as CEO, resulting in a change in leadership. To understand either, you need to understand both.
In order to give you the full picture, we felt it most appropriate to do so from all four of our collective perspectives rather than from a single voice. So, we — Ray, Bob, and Greg, all Co-CIOs and leaders who have been at Bridgewater for a combined 100+ years, and Mike McGavick, the Chair of Bridgewater’s Operating Board of Directors — together wanted to provide you with this important update.
As you are aware, we recently announced and introduced the Operating Board made up of our Co-CIOs, Independent Directors, Employee Directors elected by The Partnership, and CEO. (Read more about our Operating Board of Directors here.) This was the result of Ray, the sole director of Bridgewater’s ultimate parent company (Bridgewater Associates Holdings, Inc. or BAH), formally delegating his authority to the Operating Board, which had functioned as an internal Board, but not an official Board, since 2015. Since its establishment, the internal Board has performed activities similar to a legally constituted Board of Directors and has been responsible for overseeing and protecting the long-term financial health of Bridgewater, even as Ray remained the sole director of BAH and maintained voting control. As you would expect, CEO oversight and the selection of the CEO is a primary duty of this Operating Board, so they have chosen the successors to David. That brings us to the next big step in our transition.
As he just communicated, David has made the decision to leave Bridgewater in order to consider running for the open Senate seat in his home state of Pennsylvania. We all recognize that Dave is a hero on a hero’s journey — he always has been from his stint at West Point and in the military, then his time in the White House and the US Treasury, then through his business career and, most importantly for us, at Bridgewater over the last 12 years, with nearly five of those years as CEO. During his time at Bridgewater, our lives and missions were intertwined and aligned. He imbued Bridgewater and Bridgewater imbued him. While we will miss him, we are also joyous for his opportunity to pursue his hero's journey in service to our country, and we are especially grateful for the gifts he left us.
Besides leading the company effectively, David accomplished a great management transition during his term. It is not easy to transition from a founder-led organization with a strong leader and strong culture while having one's own strong visions and building them out. This is especially true during challenging times such as the last two years of the COVID pandemic. David accomplished this by skillfully pulling together those who have been at Bridgewater for many years, integrating talented new people, and orchestrating them to work well together. David’s work in collaboration with Ray and others who built the Operating Board of Directors has made Bridgewater into an institution that is now largely immune to key person risks and has broad, well-established governance systems both within the institution and overseeing it.
Building off that solid foundation, we are excited to announce that Nir Bar Dea, Deputy CEO, and Mark Bertolini, Co-Chair of Bridgewater’s Operating Board of Directors, have been appointed Co-CEOs, effective immediately. Through this Co-CEO model, we are getting a powerful combination of Nir, a well-respected internal leader who has worked closely with Dave, management, and the CIOs for six years, and Mark, who has enormous experience and is a globally respected and proven CEO. You can learn more about both of them here and here.
Also, we want to take this opportunity to announce that as Co-CEOs, Nir and Mark have made several initial management changes. As an expansion of their current roles, Kyle Delaney will be President & Chief Commercial Officer and Igor Tsyganskiy will be President & Chief Technology Officer. Both will report into the Co-CEOs. The Co-CEOs are also finalizing the immediate evolution of Rebecca Patterson’s role, where she will be taking on more leadership between our research and our client facing teams, which will be communicated soon.
We look forward to discussing this with you later today at the Company Town Hall.
Ray, Bob, Greg, and Mike