It's 6 a.m. Do you know where your CEO is?

The incoming CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, reportedly told fellow execs that top leaders should put themselves out there more, sharing personal details about their lives so that they can be more effective in their jobs.

"David is very aware that we've got to be more open," another Goldman exec, Brian Levine said, as quoted by CNBC. "To help foster connections with employees and clients ... leaders today have to be more vulnerable, they have to put themselves out there a lot more than they probably are comfortable doing."

This sounds like a great idea to me. Goldman is one of the world's largest investment banks, with billions in profit, and it touches almost every aspect of American society. But how much do ordinary people know about about the individuals making decisions and significantly impacting our economy?

So, let's help. Here are 12 personal details about Solomon, so that you as a reader, can get to know the new boss.

(Most of this just comes from his Wikipedia page, although I'm of course going back to the original source materials to make sure they say what Wikipedia says they say.)

1. He's like really big into electronic dance music.

Honestly, anything about Solomon is going to lead with this now. As CNBC puts it, he has "an unusual side gig as a dance club disc jockey."

No joke, he's performed at music festivals in Miami, the Bahamas, and New York, and last month he released a single on Spotify.

2. He had ordinary first jobs.

Scooping ice cream in a Baskin Robbins and working as a camp counselor.

3. He worked at Bear Stearns in the early 1990s.

There, he "he helped run the bank's junk bonds division," according to the NYT

4. He's known for an annual holiday party on the Upper West Side of NYC.

It "mixed people from Wall Street with neighbors his wife knew from walking the dog in Central Park," according to the NYT.

5. Was a rare outsider at Goldman.

Recruited in 1997, and and awarded immediately with the rank of partner.

6. He's apparently into props.

When he pitched Lululemon Athletica on their IPO, he showed up "wearing a maroon jacket and long sweatpants made by the brand.

"Everyone on the other side of the table is in suits and ties,' he said.. "It threw people off." 

7. Has a reputation for gender equity.

He reportedly was known for pushing the firm to hire more women. "Given the nearly even split in society, he argued, there was no reason that Goldman's ranks should not be equally balanced between men and women. He has taken that message on the road, too." - NYT

8. He turned down an offer to run Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas casino empire. 

9. He landed the Goldman job after his top rival resigned.

This isn't exactly a secret; Solomon and co-COO Harvey Schwartz were basically known to be competing for the CEO role. Goldman's board made the decision in March; Schartz resigned immediately afterward.

10. He was known for looking closely at bonuses.

This can't have made him popular: "Business-unit heads came to dread his year-end compensation roundtables, in which Mr. Solomon would question raises that were once routinely granted and insist on weeding out underperformers," says the WSJ.

11. He's worth millions.

I mean, this isn't a surprise; he's going to be the head of Goldman Sachs. But SEC filings suggest he's been making about $1.85 million a year in annual salary and another $10 million in restricted stock options. One estimate is that he has about $49 million in Goldman stock.

12. His PA allegedly ripped him off.

More trivia I suppose: Last month, his former personal assistant was charged in federal court with stealing more than $1.2 million worth of vintage wine from Solomon. The ex-PA, Nicolas De-Meyer, apparently fled the country before being caught and charged.

Published on: Jul 30, 2018
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