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'I always knew this day would come': Read the memo outgoing Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein just sent to staff

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  • David Solomon will succeed Lloyd Blankfein as CEO of Goldman Sachs, the firm said Tuesday.
  • Solomon will officially take the reins from Blankfein, the longest-serving Wall Street CEO after JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, in October. He'll also join the board.
  • Blankfein will serve as chairman through the end of year, and Solomon will add the title in January. Blankfein will become senior chairman when he retires, the firm said.

It's official: David Solomon will succeed Lloyd Blankfein as the CEO of Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street firm made the announcement Tuesday, saying Solomon would become CEO and join the board on October 1.

In a staff memo, Blankfein said that it had been hard to imagine leaving but that by his own "convoluted logic, it feels like the right time."

He also praised his successor, saying: 

"He was an outstanding division head for more than 10 years, helping cement Investment Banking's leading franchise. And, as a chief operating officer, David has demonstrated strategic insight into all of our businesses, focusing on the key trends that will shape them and what our clients will most value from us in the years to come."

Here's the full memo:

July 17, 2018

To the People of Goldman Sachs

Today, our firm is announcing that I intend to step down as chief executive officer at the end of September and remain as chairman until the end of the year, and that David Solomon will succeed me in both roles. After I retire, I will be honored to serve as senior chairman to support our firm where I can.

I always knew this day would come. But, of course, the reality of it prompts many thoughts and emotions.

When I've been asked about succession in the past, it's always been hard for me to imagine leaving. When times are tougher, you can't leave. And, when times are better, you don't want to leave.

Today, I don't want to retire from Goldman Sachs, but by my own perhaps convoluted logic, it feels like the right time. I am very optimistic that our firm has tremendous opportunities ahead and will continue to earn its distinctive position. Few things in life are granted, but I'm very proud that dedication, drive and focus continue to define this institution on the eve of its 150th year.

Thirty-six years at Goldman Sachs and over 12 years as chairman and CEO is a long time. As I get distance from my role, I suspect people will ask me what I miss most about the firm and the special opportunity to lead it.

I already know the answer: all of you. The people of Goldman Sachs have always been our most differentiating strength.

When we've had tough days (or a crisis or two), I could count on you to bear down, help our clients and focus on solutions and getting better. In better times, I have fed off your excitement, ideas and passion. And, there were times when your support got me through my own challenges. 

I want to congratulate David. He's been a terrific partner to me and I look forward to watching him lead Goldman Sachs for years to come. He was an outstanding division head for more than 10 years, helping cement Investment Banking's leading franchise. And, as a chief operating officer, David has demonstrated strategic insight into all of our businesses, focusing on the key trends that will shape them and what our clients will most value from us in the years to come.

I want to especially thank my wife, Laura, and our children, Alex, Jonathan and Rachel. It may be hard for some of you to believe, but I'm told that sometimes I'm not the easiest person to live with. I could not have gone through the ups and downs of the last 12 years without their patience, love and constant support.

I hope to pursue other interests in my life, but I will never do anything that will be as much a part of me as working with all of you in such a special place.

Lloyd

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