Why Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon takes subway, will get his personal espresso
Fifty-seven-year-old Solomon, as an example, is called “D-Sol” on weekends, when he performs his facet gig as a traditional rock DJ at nightclubs in New York Metropolis, Miami and the Bahamas (suppose Weapons N’ Roses and The White Stripes).
Solomon additionally rides the New York Metropolis subway to work and prefers to fetch his personal espresso on the workplace.
“I imply, why would not you are taking the subway?” Solomon instructed Fortune just lately. “No, severely. It is faster and extra environment friendly. You recognize, the mayor of New York [City, Bill de Blasio] can take the subway. Why cannot the CEO of Goldman Sachs?”
(In actuality, whereas de Blasio typically rides the subway as a promotional occasion, he sometimes takes a non-public automotive to work, and infamously, to the fitness center, due to his hectic schedule, he says.)
In keeping with Fortune, sure Goldman Sachs’ board members are sad with the thought Solomon on the subway. However that does not hassle him. Neither does the truth that his DJ persona has grow to be fodder for the media, not less than not anymore.
Solomon was first outed as DJ D-Sol by The New York Occasions in 2017 when he was a co-president at Goldman Sachs and within the midst of his marketing campaign to be named CEO. Solomon stated a few of his associates urged him to hold up his headphones if he bought the job, and he himself felt anxious that the general public would not take him severely.
“You recognize what, it is who I’m, and no one would inform me to not play golf,” Solomon stated. “And why should not I — as a result of I am a CEO?” (Solomon provides all his earnings as a DJ to charity.)
Now as the pinnacle of Goldman, Solomon needs to make sure he is extra admired and revered than envied and feared. Getting his personal espresso and exhibiting up unannounced at workplace conferences all through the day are small methods he does that. He additionally permits colleagues or visitors who’ve an appointment to bypass his receptionists and knock on his door immediately. What’s extra, Solomon made information in March when he relaxed the corporate’s gown code coverage, making fits and ties optionally available.
Past firm tradition, Solomon’s first yr as CEO has include challenges.
General income at Goldman has been on the decline since 2010 as belongings like bonds and commodities dropped to 37% of the agency’s web revenues, down from 72% in 2009.
Solomon can also be tasked with pivoting Goldman into industrial banking. In August, Goldman launched its first bank card in partnership with Apple. (Since then, it has lent about $10 billion to Apple cardholders, a few of which beforehand had no credit score historical past or below-average credit score rating). Solomon just lately denied allegations of gender discrimination with the Apple Card after Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson complained his spouse was supplied a dramatically decrease line of credit score than he was supplied regardless of her being a greater candidate.
Solomon’s private life has been tumultuous as nicely. His divorce was finalized in 2018, and through his second week as CEO at Goldman Sachs, his former assistant killed himself after being charged with stealing $1.2 million price of wine from Solomon’s assortment.
However whether or not it is working an funding financial institution or spinning data, “if I determine I am excited about one thing and I will do it, I will do it,” Solomon instructed Fortune. “I imply, I will attempt to actually do it to the best capability of my capability, or I am not going to do it.”
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