Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein to Retire by 2019

Randal Sanchez
March 10, 2018

The chief executive of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, is reportedly planning to step down as soon as the end of this year.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. However, the Journal reported that Goldman is not looking beyond Schwartz or Solomon.

Goldman Sachs and other top US stocks were also boosted on Friday by the release of nonfarm payrolls. Blankfein, who steered the firm through the financial crisis, has yet to set a timetable for his departure or discuss his plans with senior colleagues, one of the people said. Investors took the report in stride.

The top two contenders to replace Blankfein are the firm's co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon.

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Solomon is an investment banker and advisor with an impressive track record who's worked directly with some of Goldman Sachs' most important clients.

Blankfein is one of only a couple big Wall Street CEOs who ran their firms before the financial crisis and still are at the helms today. He initially joined Goldman's commodities trading arm, and after 12 years, he was promoted to co-head of the currency and commodities division. Mostly he has doubled down on the trading and risk-taking that otherwise fell out of favour across much of Wall Street. He was forced to testify before Congress, and Goldman Sachs later paid billions in fines. He was considered at the time as the most likely successor to Blankfein. Even though he supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, Blankfein recently told CNN the economy is "higher" under Trump than if Clinton had won.

Blanknfein has expressed a number of views that clash with President Trump's, including opposition to Trump's "travel ban", and Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, expressed in his first ever tweet.

Discussions on whether Blankfein would step down heated up a few years ago when he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

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