Goldman Sachs boss Blankfein 'planning to exit' as early as year-end

A source close to the situation told AFP there was no firm timetable to longtime Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein's departure

Lloyd Blankfein, one of Wall Street's most powerful players, is reportedly preparing to step down from his perch at Goldman Sachs as soon as the end of the year.

The Wall Street firm expects to name one of its co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, to succeed Blankfein, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN. It's not clear what Blankfein plans to do after leaving Goldman Sachs.

Although Blankfein is credited with getting Goldman Sachs back on its feet after the crisis, its trading division has struggled in recent years, and some analysts have faulted Blankfein's leadership. Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo have all replaced their CEOs over the years.

Goldman Sachs shares briefly dipped but recovered to a 1.4 percent gain at 2:31 p.m.in NY. Cohn was one of the key architects of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which received nearly universal praise from Wall St. executives, including Blankfein.

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Schwartz ran trading at Goldman before becoming CFO, and Solomon ran the investment banking business and is known as a strong manager.

"The departure would conclude a 36-year Goldman career for Mr. Blankfein, the son of a Brooklyn postal worker who rose to the pinnacle of Wall Street".

He's had the job for 12 years, and steered the bank through the 2008 financial crisis.

The CEO has made several jokes during his tenure about dying at his desk.

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Solomon and Schwartz were appointed to their roles in late 2016 after the firm's longtime president Gary Cohn left to join Donald Trump's administration.

Cohn resigned his position at the White House earlier this week and is not expected to return to Goldman.

Blankfein's departure would leave JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon as the lone CEO of a major USA bank who was at the helm during the financial crisis.

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