Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein announced Tuesday that he has “highly curable” lymphoma and that he will continue to lead the firm, one of the world’s most powerful investment banks, while he seeks treatment.
Blankfein would not be the first finance industry titan to successfully work through cancer treatments — JP Morgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon and billionaire investor Warren Buffett are two headliners in that club — and his optimistic diagnosis comes as good news. “There are many people who are dealing with cancer every day. I draw on their experiences as I begin my own,” Blankfein wrote today in a statement.
In 2008, Fortune profiled Blankfein — who had ascended to the top job at Goldman (GS) just two years earlier — at a time when the credit crisis was worsening, but just ahead of the collapse of world financial markets. In the article, titled “The man who must keep Goldman growing,” Bethany McLean wrote about Blankfein’s ascent to the top of one of Wall Street’s financial giants along with everything from the CEO’s biggest concerns to the massive investment bank’s reputation, which was already not so positive even before the financial crisis kicked into high gear.
Following Blankfein’s early success at Goldman — McLean notes his then-record $68.7 million compensation in 2007, as well as the firm’s ability to grow its revenues amid the mortgage market’s collapse (of course, the firm would later pay billions of dollars in fines to settle investigations into its behavior ahead of that collapse) — the banking executive discussed worrying about things that might be out of his control:
In another section of the profile, McLean details how Blankfein (who now has a net worth of $1.1 billion) went from a modest background in Brooklyn to rise through Wall Street’s ranks:
McLean later looked at “the rap [that] Goldman is too big and too powerful,” a reputation that seemed to give Blankfein as much pride as pause:
On the perception that Goldman does not always have its clients’ best interests at heart:
Still, despite his confidence, Blankfein continued to exhibit concern over that which he couldn’t control. Here, the CEO responds to the question “What do you worry about most?”: