'Mediocre' Gross overpaid at $200 million: Trustee

Pile Of Coins

Life just isn't getting any easier for Bill Gross .

Not so long ago known as the untouchable Bond King of the investment world, the Pimco founder now finds himself the subject of intense scrutiny, the most recent being over the enormous salary he receives to run the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm.

Pimco trustee William J. Popejoy believes Gross' reported $200 million annual salary is out of line for someone whose performance has been "mediocre," according to an account in the Los Angeles Times. The salary level originally was reported by The New York Times about two years ago.

"You could hire 2,000 schoolteachers for that money," Popejoy told the newspaper in a story published Tuesday. "I don't know what Bill should be paid, but $200 million is not appropriate."

(Read more: Tell-all on Pimco was 'overblown,' Gross says )

"I don't know if Secretariat made $200 million a year," he added, referring to the legendary racehorse.

The comments come at an awkward time for Pimco, which manages about $1.9 trillion for clients and runs the largest bond fund in the world-the Total Return Fund which has $236.5 billion under management.

A recent unflattering Wall Street Journal profile painted a picture of dysfunction at the firm, recalling battles between Gross and former co-CEO Mohamed El-Erian and showing Gross as a controlling, dominating presence who was prone to impose draconian office conditions.

More recently, Reuters reported that several key institutional investors have put Pimco on a "watch list" of firms that could be heading for trouble.

(Read more: Big investors warily eye Pimco after internal strife )

For the firm's part, it insists that conditions are business as usual. Pimco tweeted Tuesday:

Go here for the full Times story.

-By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxCNBCcom .

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