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Goldman names lead director in nod to shareholders

NEW YORK (AP) -- The investment bank Goldman Sachs on Monday named a lead director after negotiations with shareholders who wanted the company to separate the roles of chairman and CEO.

Goldman said that James J. Schiro, a former CEO of the accounting company PricewaterhouseCoopers, will get the job. He will also be chair of the corporate governance and nominating committee.

The lead director job is intended to keep Goldman shareholders from forcing a vote on separating the chairman and CEO jobs. Both are held by Lloyd Blankfein.

One shareholder group, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said the lead director would "provide a much-needed and vital check on the company's practices and conflicts of interest."

The public employees union said it was concerned that Goldman's practices "are not in the best interest of the clients they serve."

Last month, a young Goldman banker resigned by publishing a scathing Op-Ed article in The New York Times. He accused the bank of putting company profit before customers' interests.

Goldman Sachs said in March that it would try to strengthen internal rules to prevent questions about conflicts of interest. A Delaware judge almost killed a deal between two energy companies in February because Goldman had ties to both parties.