Harvard Chief Stepping Down

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Mohamed El-Erian, who grew Harvard University's endowment by 23 percent during his brief tenure as head of the institution's investing, said Tuesday that he will step down at the end of the year.

El-Erian will rejoin his former company, Pacific Investment Management Company, as co-chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer, according to a statement from the university.

El-Erian said in the statement that he wants to return to southern California to work closer to family.

El-Erian took over as president and chief executive officer of Harvard Management Co., the quasi-independent body that manages the investments of the world's wealthiest university, in February 2006.

The endowment grew to $34.9 billion by the end of the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 23 percent annual return. The endowment dropped by at least 1 percent following market turbulence in July and August.

“Mohamed has done an impressive job guiding and reorganizing Harvard Management Company, and we will miss his leadership,” Harvard treasurer James Rothenberg said in a statement.