Embattled Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon was confronted by Lloyd Blankfein over the bank’s dismal performance this year — which has cost him $50 million, according to a report.
Blankfein, who rubber-stamped Solomon’s rise to the top of the most vaunted investment firm on Wall Street, called up his former top lieutenant earlier this summer to complain about the company’s sinking stock price, the New York Times reported Friday.
He told Solomon that he was running out of patience and offered to return to the firm in an advisory role, according to three people briefed on their conversation cited by The Times.
Solomon reportedly declined Blankfein’s offer of help.
The Post reached out to Goldman for comment.
In a statement to the Times, Goldman spokesman Tony Fratto said, “David is direct and focused on results… Our clients and investors are direct, and they expect results.”
The purported phone call illustrates Solomon’s precarious position as Goldman partners and former executives increasingly question his leadership.
The partners have griped over their skimpy bonuses, Solomon’s private jet use and most loudly about Solomon’s side hustle as a DJ.
Blankfein also took a swipe at his successor to a handful of partners at a company gathering in Miami earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported in June.
“God, I wish he’d spend less time on the plane and more time making money,” Blankfein quipped.
In the latest quarter, the company reported a 60% decline in profits year over year, in part from shutting down a consumer bank that lost billions, which was bought by Blankfein. Goldman has also faced government scrutiny for its involvement in the Silicon Valley Bank failure.
The frustration has caused many star employees to flee. Over the last few years departures include Julian Salisbury, Luke Sarsfield, Jeff Currie, Omer Ismail, Katie Koch, Harvey Schwartz, Gregg Lemkau, Eric Lane, Stephen Scherr and Dina Powell.
That means the 61-year-old CEO will be difficult to replace given his bench of possible successors has dwindled so dramatically.
Also this week, chief of staff for nearly three decades John Rogers said he is relinquishing his role. Rogers will still be involved in other projects and hold onto his board seat, according to a memo.
“The guy is up against the wall because he pissed off everyone at the company,” Dick Bove, a veteran banking analyst, told The Times. “Solomon does not have a personality which gains the loyalty and respect of his subordinates.”
Some sources say his high-handed management style is changing the bank’s culture for the worse.
“He’s turned Goldman Sachs into Bear Stearns. He doesn’t understand the culture of partnership and teamwork and loyalty,” a source previously told The Post. “He doesn’t understand the difference between a dictatorship and a partnership.”
Others bank-watchers are more optimistic. Even though the stock has dropped over the last few months, it’s climbed dramatically — roughly 50% — since Solomon took the reins from Blankfein in 2018.
“The dynamics at Goldman — with all the partners and ex-partners — are that there is just a lot of second-guessing and jealousy,” Ted Virtue, chief executive of the private equity firm MidOcean Partners and a friend of Solomon’s, told The Times.
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