Business World

Sunday 17 November 2019

Goldman clears way for CEO's successor

Stock image
Stock image

Catherine Ngai

Goldman Sachs has said that Harvey Schwartz will retire from the bank, leaving David Solomon as sole president and chief operating officer and the most obvious successor to CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

The bank did not say why Schwartz was retiring. He and Solomon were named co-COO in 2016 in a setup that appeared to pit them against each other to eventually lead the most powerful US investment bank.

The 'Wall Street Journal' said on Friday that 63-year-old Blankfein was expected to retire as soon as this year and the bank was not looking beyond Schwartz and Solomon to replace him. Goldman did not comment.

The unexpected announcement that Schwartz will also retire eliminates a presumptive CEO candidate with a strong trading background and comes as Goldman Sachs has been trying to reinvent itself after market trends and regulations sapped profits from its once-lucrative trading business.

Schwartz, 53, will leave on April 20. He had been co-head of the bank's trading division before being promoted to chief financial officer in 2013. Solomon, 56, had been a co-head of investment banking at Goldman since 2006 until becoming co-COO.

The bank typically maps out its succession planning by naming two or three candidates to top roles. Schwartz and Solomon were named as co-COO roles after Gary Cohn left to become US President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser.

He said last week that he would resign, after he lost a fight over Trump's plans for hefty steel and aluminium import tariffs.

Analysts viewed Schwartz's retirement as a positive, because it clarifies the succession. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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