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David Solomon will be the new CEO of Goldman Sachs

LAME-DUCK periods can last for only so long. It was clear beforehand that a Goldman Sachs earnings call this week would be packed with questions about succession. When would the chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, step down? (He had said in March he was leaving, but gave no date.) What would his departure mean for the firm’s other over-achievers? Several had already decamped, including Harvey Schwartz, the bank’s co-president and co-chief operating officer. Left as heir-apparent was the man he had shared both jobs with, David Solomon, but with no hint of when his elevation would take place.On July 17th Goldman ended the speculation by confirming the choice of Mr Solomon as CEO and saying that he would take over in October, earlier than predicted. Quarterly results presented that day by Martin Chavez, the chief financial officer, who is thought to be in his own succession battle to replace Mr Solomon, beat forecasts. Still, the share price sagged. Analysts cited fears about whether low figures for compensation, and profits from investments and lending, could be sustained. Investors may also have been left wondering what the new management line-up means for Goldman. Bucking the practice among big banks to have their bosses on the line during earnings announcements, neither Mr Solomon nor Mr Blankfein found time to make their way to the phone. Mike Mayo, an analyst at Wells Fargo, voiced a common reaction in a report entitled “Why no new CEO on the call?”
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