Embattled Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon griped that frequent media leaks about inner turmoil at the bank were “damaging” the firm’s reputation as it implements sweeping cost-cutting measures.
Solomon aired his concerns during his annual closed-door summit with approximately 400 Goldman partners in Miami. The key meeting took place weeks after the Wall Street giant slashed 3,200 jobs in its most extensive round of layoffs since the Great Recession.
Solomon slammed media leaks in a response to a question from one of the meeting’s attendees, the Financial Times reported. The bank boss reportedly went off script to address the issue, which was not included in his prepared remarks.
“David made the point that the leaks are damaging to the firm, and they are. I heard the same message from our partners all week,” a Goldman spokesperson told the FT.
Solomon reportedly admitted to partners that he had been too slow to announce the job cuts. Goldman has experienced a profit crunch in recent quarters due to a major industrywide slowdown in investment banking activity and issues with its money-losing consumer bank Marcus, among other issues.
Solomon told partners that the job cuts would have been less severe if he had acted sooner. His prepared remarks lasted for about an hour.
“As the environment was growing more complicated in Q2 of last year, every bone in my body believed we should be much more aggressive in slowing hiring and reducing headcount,” Solomon said at the meeting, according to the FT, which cited a source with knowledge of his remarks.
A bank spokesperson told the outlet that “it would have been unusual not to address the process on headcount reduction this year.”
Despite Solomon’s concerns, the partner meeting produced another round of media leaks.
Some partners have grown so dissatisfied with Goldman’s direction that they have discussed ways to get the bank’s board of directors involved, Insider reported, citing four sources who spoke to partners.
The report added that the disgruntled Goldman partners were “already talking about who might possibly replace Solomon if it comes to that.”
Additionally, some Goldman insiders are purportedly miffed over Solomon’s “penchant for living a glamorous life,” which includes his well-known side gig as a DJ and an affinity for trips on bank-owned private jets.
Insider acknowledged that it was “not clear how widespread this discontent is” among Goldman’s 400 partners.
“This leadership team set a clear strategic direction for Goldman Sachs and it’s working — delivering a 10.2% return on equity in 2022 and growing our book value per share 40% since our first investor day,” Goldman Sachs spokesperson Tony Fratto told the outlet. “These criticisms aren’t serious and they aren’t based in fact.”
As The Post reported, company insiders referred to the recent round of layoffs as “David’s Demolition Day.” Laid-off bankers accused the bank of using underhanded tactics to break the bad news.
Last month, the bank disclosed that Solomon’s pay was $25 million in 2022 — a 30% drop from a year earlier.
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