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Goldman CEO Said Likely to Step Down in December: New York Times

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Lloyd Blankfein will probably step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief executive officer in December, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the firm’s plans.

David M. Solomon, who was named president in March, will take the top spot, the newspaper said. While Blankfein is likely to depart around the time of the firm’s annual dinner for alumni, the timing could still change, the Times said.

Goldman Sachs set the stage for its next era in March by naming Solomon as sole president under Blankfein, picking him over Harvey Schwartz as heir apparent for the CEO spot. That’s spurred questions of when the handoff will take place. Blankfein has said publicly that Solomon would benefit from more time in his current role, but that the change would likely happen before Blankfein himself was ready to move on.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Blankfein, 63, would depart as early as this year. Blankfein tweeted in response that it was the newspaper’s announcement, “not mine.” Solomon said last month in a CNBC interview that there was no timeline for succession.

“I don’t think it’s a huge surprise,” said Brian Kleinhanzl, a bank analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods, adding it’s “aligned” with previous expectations.

The bank has already felt the ripple effects of the expected succession. Schwartz left the firm in April after serving as co-president with Solomon since Gary Cohn’s departure in 2016. Goldman said this week that two its three trading co-heads, Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet, will leave the firm next month.