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Investor Advisor Recommends Separating Roles of Goldman CEO and Chairman

Byeditor

Apr 4, 2024

David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs for the past five years, is facing a challenge from a large investor advisor who is recommending separate roles for CEO and chairman for more independent oversight. The annual meeting vote on this proposal comes amidst scrutiny of Goldman’s consumer business and personnel issues.

Proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) wants the roles of CEO and chairman at Goldman Sachs to be separated for better governance. David Solomon has been the CEO since October 2018 and added the chairman title shortly after. ISS, a company that advises investors on voting at shareholder meetings, gave “cautionary support” for Goldman’s executive pay.

Despite Solomon’s success as CEO with the stock soaring 83%, recent issues have brought increased attention to his leadership. Concerns were raised after a Wall Street Journal article reported a lack of female leadership at Goldman, with many women leaving under Solomon’s leadership. One of these women, Stephanie Cohen, led the bank’s consumer business that ultimately resulted in significant losses and the bank’s decision to pull back from that sector.

ISS’s report suggested that Solomon’s missteps in the consumer space have led to further human capital issues within the company. However, Goldman’s governance committee reaffirmed that the dual CEO-chairman role is the most effective leadership structure following an evaluation in December.

ISS is recommending that investors vote for Goldman’s slate of directors, including the next lead independent director, David Viniar, who has been on the board since 2013. Some may question the decision to appoint a former Goldman executive to this role at this time, according to ISS. Goldman Sachs did not provide a comment on this matter.

By editor

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