It's big news on Wall Street: the 12-year CEO of Goldman Sachs is leaving the company. But Lloyd Blankfein and other Goldman executives say they were surprised to read the Wall Street Journal report.
CNBC's Jim Cramer said the news made sense because Goldman has two co-presidents who are vying for the position: "Blankfein is deeply committed to letting a newer generation" lead.
Blankfein tackled some tough times at the investment bank. The firm managed well through the Great Recession despite criticism for misleading customers, for which Goldman paid $550 million to the SEC as a settlement. In 2009, Blankfein faced criticism when he, perhaps jokingly, told a reporter Goldman was "just doing God's work." He was positioning the firm as having a "social purpose." Finally, in 2012, a Goldman executive wrote a scathing report about the company in a New York Times opinion piece, "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs."
For now, we don't know how true the WSJ report is.
- The Wall Street Journal report is very clear, although it doesn't identify sources, but that is typical. How do news reports like this happen? Who is responsible if it is a mistake?
- How well did Blankfein handle the situation? What, if anything, should Goldman communicate as a company at this point?