Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that Lloyd Blankfein, the firm’s chief executive officer and chairman for the last 12 years, will step down as the chairman at the end of the year.
Blankfeing will be succeeded by David Solomon, a long-time Goldman executive, to lead the storied Wall Street investment bank.
Solomon’s stature as the heir apparent was cemented in March, when the firm announced that he would become sole president while Harvey Schwartz — his chief rival for the job — would leave the company.
Goldman also said its second-quarter profit jumped 44 percent from a year ago. The performance was largely driven by the investment bank’s core franchises: advising companies on mergers, acquisitions and other deals, and its trading business.
Blankfein took over Goldman Sachs at the height of the housing bubble and on the eve of the Great Recession and financial crisis. Goldman was just as exposed to toxic assets as its competition was, and in the darkest days of the crisis, it was thought Goldman Sachs may not survive.
He was able to navigate Goldman back through the crisis. Meanwhile, his competition — Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch — were either bought in distressed sales or, in the case of Lehman, went bankrupt.
Blankfein, has previously admitted that he’d have to give up the top spot before he was ready to move on, and has said that Solomon would benefit from more time in the president job.