Blankfein Prepares to Exit Goldman, WSJ Reports

Lloyd Blankfein is the current CEO of Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein participates in a panel discussion on "Talent Attraction and Retention" during the White House Summit On Working Families at the Omni Shoreham hotel June 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. This timing is fluid and Blankfein is in control of his departure, the report said.

The chief executive of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, is reportedly planning to step down as soon as the end of this year.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter that it didn't identify, said Blankfein, 63, could leave this year and the bank meant to replace him with one of its two co-presidents, David Solomon or Harvey Schwartz.

Blankfein is one of Wall Street's highest paid CEOs.

Blankfein, 63, has steered the US investment bank for almost 12 years, outlasting calls for his departure in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and staying in the job even as he battled cancer.

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Blankfein, 63, rose to CEO in 2006 after more than a decade working as a bond trader.

The period after the financial crisis saw Goldman try to reinvent itself, including once rebranding the bank as a "technology company".

The bank recently has been flat or at a loss in its traditional business, bond trading, even as its rivals have gained.

Nowhere was the news met with more surprise than inside Goldman Sachs.

Steve Mnuchin, the current secretary of the treasury who worked at Goldman from 1985-2002, is the only administration official left who is a former Goldman employee.

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