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Goldman CEO Blankfein to step down as soon as year-end

Goldman CEO Blankfein to step down as soon as year-end

Plans to replace Blankfein recently picked up as top board members believed his time at Goldman was nearing its end, the report said. This timing is fluid and Blankfein is in control of his departure, the report said.

Lloyd Blankfein could step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) chief executive as soon as the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, swiveling the focus on fierce competition between the two contenders to replace him.

Blankfein, who has been Goldman's CEO and chairman for roughly 12 years, has always been rumored to be considering his retirement prospects. It follows a typical succession plan pattern at the Wall Street bank, which tends to name two or three people into co-head roles until one of them proves to be the right choice for further promotion.

While he brought in tremendous profits and oversaw unprecedented financial innovations, there was also a dark side. The bank would pay more than $500 million in fines for that deal.

It was under Blankfein that Goldman was tagged with the infamous "Vampire squid" moniker, thanks to a 2010 Rolling Stone piece - a nickname that the bank has never been able to shake.

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He's had the job for 12 years, and steered the bank through the 2008 financial crisis.

Leslie Shribman, Goldman's vice president of media relations, declined to comment on the matter.

The bank, and its leader, have only grown in notoriety in recent years.

Steve Mnuchin, the current secretary of the treasury who worked at Goldman from 1985-2002, is the only administration official left who is a former Goldman employee.

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