Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein could leave at year-end

Blankfein was named Goldman’s CEO in June 2006 after Henry “Hank” Paulson quit to become US Treasury Secretary

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) is gearing itself for a change in top management as CEO Lloyd Blankfein will retire by 2019.

Blankfein, 63, has run Goldman since 2006, and ran the NY firm through the housing market bubble and subsequent financial crisis.

Goldman Sachs shares briefly dipped but recovered to a 1.4 percent gain at 2:31 p.m.in NY.

Blankfein, who has been Goldman's CEO and chairman for roughly 12 years, has always been rumored to be considering his retirement prospects. Investors took the report in stride.

The investment bank intends to replace Blankfein, 63, with one of its two co-presidents, David Solomon or Harvey Schwartz, the newspaper said Friday, citing people familiar with the matter that it didn't identify.

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Blankfein is one of only a couple big Wall Street CEOs who ran their firms before the financial crisis and still are at the helms today.

Goldman Sachs has been grooming Schwartz and Solomon for the top job ever since former president Gary Cohn left the bank past year to become President Trump's top economic adviser. Cohn announced his departure from the White House earlier this week.

Blankfein's exit would cap a successful career on Wall Street that began when he joined Goldman's commodities trading division in 1982. Mostly he has doubled down on the trading and risk-taking that otherwise fell out of favour across much of Wall Street.

Blanknfein, the longest serving CEO at Goldman, succeeded Henry Paulson in 2006, who left to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. He was considered at the time as the most likely successor to Blankfein.

Discussions on whether Blankfein would step down heated up a few years ago when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He declared himself cancer-free about a year later following chemotherapy treatments.

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