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How Goldman Sachs's CEO uses Instagram to be 'a little more human' to employees

A Fleetwood Mac concert at Madison Square Garden. A ruby red double-decker bus on the streets of London. Ornate boats docked on a Chinese shoreline.

The sites appear in posts from an unlikely Instagram influencer: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who said in a new interview that he uses the platform primarily as a means to reach millennial employees.

“Instagram for us was an interesting platform to communicate first and foremost to our people,” says Solomon, who has a side gig as a D.J. “I needed a more modern way to communicate with a workforce that’s 75% millennial, that’s 60% [made up of people] 30 years old or less.”

“CEOs don’t sit up in an ivory tower anymore, isolated. If you do, by the way, it’s going to be a very unsuccessful way to run your company. So you’ve got to be a little more available, a little more vulnerable, a little more human and you’ve got to be in touch,” adds Solomon who has accrued about 13,900 Instagram followers since his first post last October.

‘There are flaws to these tools’

If each of his followers was a Goldman Sachs employee, the total would comprise slightly more than one-third of the company’s 38,000-person workforce.

Feedback on the Instagram account has been positive, said Solomon, who made the remarks on Monday to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-chief Andy Serwer during a panel at Milken Global Conference 2019, a gathering of business and civic leaders in Beverly Hills, California organized by the Milken Institute.

The panel, entitled “Staying Atop—How CEOs Manage Shifting Tide,” also featured Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, Siemens US CEO Barbara Humpton, Ernst & Young CEO-elect Carmine Di Sibio, and General Mills CEO Jeffrey Harmening. Watch the full panel here.

Instagram has been the subject of heightened scrutiny in recent weeks as a forum for the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation. Solomon acknowledged that social media platforms aren’t perfect.

“There are flaws to these tools...but they’re here to stay and our job is to use them as effectively as we can,” Solomon says.

Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance.

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