Fox Business News has highlighted problems inside Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) in a new article examining internal politics at the investment bank. The article speculates on what might happen if current CEO Lloyd Blankfein were to leave the company.
Blankfein says that he intends on sticking around in the top spot for a long time to come, but the plan to replace him isn't exactly clear, and it could lead to problems in the firm's future. Blankfein is currently 58. That leaves the potential for years as head of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), though things can change quickly in investment banking.
The two most likely successors are Gary Cohn, the firm's President and Chief Operating Officer, and J. Michael Evans, one of the company's Vice Chairmen. Cohn would take charge temporarily if Lloyd Blankfein were to leave today, but what happens after that is anyone' guess. Recent reports even suggested that Cohn was getting ready to leave the firm.
According to sources close to the matter who were contacted by Fox Business News, both executives were perturbed by Blankfein's comments about remaining at the firm for an indefinite period. Both want their chance to lead the firm, and if Blankfein stays for much longer they might not get their chance.
A source cited by Fox said that Evans was particularly shaken by the CEO's comments. Evans is, at 55, older than Cohn, so his chances are taken over are probably reduced by a greater magnitude with every year that passes. If Blankfein leaves because he's judged too old for the position, Cohn will likely be too old to take over.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) is no stranger to power struggles for the top spot. Most of the firm's previous CEO successions have been marked by secretive meetings and betrayals, making the investment bank seem closer to a Medieval throne room than a meritocratic financial institution. The firm has been shedding jobs recently, and thought ts future not in danger, it is facing challenges.
There may be a power struggle ahead at the investment bank, though, as the Fox reporter points out, it's bound to be in its early stages. Lloyd Blankfein may have a tough time keeping control at the head of the firm as a result. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) shares rose by 0.5% in today's trading.