Ray Dalio has announced that he is dropping his role as co-CEO of Bridgewater to further his 10-year transition plan to change the leadership structure of the company. Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, has gone under fire from the media over the last year for sexual harassment claims made by employees and the company’s questionable management response. Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater, has vehemently defended the hedge fund against said accusations.
The rumored next step in this transition is to replace management with artificial intelligence to save time and eliminate human emotional volatility. Bridgewater has a reputation of having high turnover among its employees and this move may be reaction to control issues between managing staff and employees. It may also stem from Dalio’s desire to make the future of Bridgewater more predictable under machine leadership instead of under wildcard personalities. According to the 10-year plan, by 2022 Dalio plans to be monitoring Bridgewater without actively running the firm.
The high turnover rate in Bridgewater is not only evident in the bottom level positions but in top positions as well. Jonathan J. Rubinstein, served as co-CEO for 10 months before leaving the firm in May 2016. Rubinstein is revered for his technological innovation and his help in launching Apple Inc., NeXT Inc., Palm Inc. and Hewitt-Packard Co, but Mr. Dalio stated that Rubinstein was “not a cultural fit for Bridgewater.”
Dalio has been working on a secret software engineering project that would send “GPS-style directions” for how employees should spend their time, mapping out specific tasks in their day. He has called this project “The Book of the Future.” This goes along with his transparency theme for the company. With all the meetings recorded and every task of the employees monitored the work of the company will remain efficient and predictable.
Dalio had to return as co-CEO last year after Greg Jensen had to step down from the position as it was too demanding with his co-CIO position. Other management committee members hired in recent years have already left the firm, including GE capital executive Joe Parsons, Former HSBC executive Tony Murphy, and former Accenture executive Kevin Campbell. Dalio’s purpose for the 10-year transition plan was to make Bridgewater able to go on without his leadership, and with the high turnover rate in the humans that have been hired and departed he seems to be putting his reliance on artificially intelligent staff to carry the company forward.