Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein has started plans to retire and could do so as soon as the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
However, Blankfein distanced himself from the report, saying jokingly on Twitter: “I feel like Huck Finn listening to his own eulogy.”
Blankfein, 63, has run Goldman since 2006, and ran the New York firm through the housing market bubble and subsequent financial crisis. The firm also became a target of intense populist anger during the Great Recession.
It emerged from the crisis transformed, focusing less on risky trading and is now exploring new businesses such as consumer loans.
The two people considered as candidates to replace Blankfein are Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, who share the position of chief operating officer, the newspaper said, citing undisclosed sources.
Schwartz and Solomon have both been considered successors to Blankfein in the past in reports.
Discussions on whether Blankfein would step down heated up a few years ago when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He successfully underwent radiation and chemotherapy, and has publicly said he considers himself cured.
Gary Cohn, who previously served as Goldman’s chief operating officer, left last year to become chief economic adviser to US President Donald Trump. He was considered at the time as the most likely successor to Blankfein.
However, the newspaper reported that Goldman is not looking beyond Schwartz or Solomon.
Cohn resigned his position at the White House earlier this week and is not expected to return to Goldman.
Blankfein is one of only a couple of big Wall Street CEOs who ran their firms before the financial crisis and still are at the helm today.
Blankfein has in recent years become more outspoken about his views. He has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration on immigration and diversity issues, and typically uses Twitter to weigh in on public issues.
Along with his Mark Twain reference, Blankfein said on Twitter about the reports: “It’s @WSJ’s announcement ... not mine.”
A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment on the report.
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