(Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marc Rowan, asked Tuesday about co-founder Josh Harris’s absence from the firm’s earnings call, described him as an “active and productive” member of the team.

The comment, in response to an analyst’s question, came four days after Bloomberg reported that Harris is being sidelined and has relinquished day-to-day handling of operations.

“What is external is mostly noise for us,” said Rowan, who was picked over Harris to succeed Leon Black as CEO. “We get up for business every day and we execute the plan.”

Rowan noted that Apollo has a deep bench of management talent.

Read more: Apollo Fundraising Unfazed While Profit Jumps Amid Black’s Exit

The past year has been a tumultuous one for Apollo. Black’s financial ties with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein threatened fundraising as some investors put their commitments on hold. The episode precipitated Black’s departure from the firm earlier this year.

Harris, 56, had positioned himself as Black’s most likely successor, frequently representing Apollo at conferences and in the media. He was seen as having a tighter relationship with Black and deemed the top contender for the role.

But Black, 69, surprised insiders in January by handing the top job to Rowan, after Harris privately urged Black to give up his posts to avoid further damaging Apollo’s reputation. After the decision was made, Harris publicly supported it.

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