Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is preparing to retire from the Wall Street bank where he has worked for 36 years, as soon as the end of this year, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
Blankfein’s potential upcoming exit from the firm leaves Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, who are the firm’s co-presidents, as the most likely candidates to be his successor, according to the Journal.
The 63-year-old Blankfein joined Goldman Sachs’ commodities division as a gold salesman in 1982. He was named chief executive in 2006 when his predecessor Hank Paulson became Treasury secretary.
Blankfein, who was the son of a Brooklyn postal worker, rose through the ranks at Goldman and is one of the longest-serving bosses at a big Wall Street bank. He has run Goldman longer than anyone since Sidney Weinberg and is only behind JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon given his 12-year tenure as the firm's chief executive.
The timing of Blankfein’s exit could still change but the current plan is for Blankfein to retire ahead of or early in the bank’s 150th anniversary in 2019, the Journal reported.
Blankfein has not expressed a preference towards either one of the two current contenders to succeed him, 53-year-old Schwartz and 56-year-old Solomon.
Schwartz joined Goldman as a derivatives salesman in 1997, whereas Solomon joined the bank in 1999 as an outside partner who ran its investment-banking arm for a decade.
They were both named co-chief operating officers and presidents in December 2016 when Gary Cohn, who previously held the titles, joined president Donald Trump's administration.
Cohn, who had served as president Trump's top economic adviser, resigned from the administration on March 6 following the announcement of plans to slap steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.