Goldman Sachs' Schwartz retires, paves way for Solomon as next CEO

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He had been co-head of the bank's trading division before being promoted to chief financial officer in 2013, while Solomon, 56, had been a co-head of investment banking at Goldman since 2006 until becoming co-COO. Schwartz and Solomon were named to the co-COO roles after Gary Cohn left Goldman to become U.S. President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser.

Harvey Schwartz, the 54-year-old president and co-chief operating officer, has chose to step down on 20 April, leaving David Solomon, 56, as sole president and chief operating officer, the bank announced.

The question of Blankfein's successor has been a topic of debate across the financial industry since Friday, when the Wall Street Journal reported that the CEO would step down as early as this year.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with David in building our franchise around the world", Blankfein, 63, said in the statement.

Blankfein, the son of a postal worker who grew up in a Brooklyn housing project, has become a billionaire from his Goldman Sachs career.

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The announcement provided no timeline for when Blankfein will step down. With Schwartz retiring effective April 20, that would leave only Solomon. He has served a dozen years at the top of Wall Street's most powerful firm.

That person is David Solomon, the bank's co-president and co-COO.

"Harvey has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Goldman Sachs", Blankfein said.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Solomon worked at Bear Stearns, where he helped run the now-defunct investment bank's junk bond business.

The bank typically maps out its succession planning by naming two or three candidates to top roles.

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