Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon made a difficult decision to cut about 3,200 jobs last month.
Does he have any regrets? Yes. He wishes he had done it sooner, apparently.
“As the environment was growing more complicated in Q2 of last year, every bone in my body believed we should be much more aggressive in slowing hiring and reducing headcount,” Solomon said Sunday at a closed-door gathering with about 400 Goldman Sachs partners in Miami, according to the Financial Times.
The bank saw net profits tumble by nearly half in 2022 compared to the year before. It’s been scrambling to cut costs, with partner bonuses taking a hit and the use of private jets coming under scrutiny.
On what came to be known internally as “David’s Demolition Day,” a large number employees were let go on Jan. 11. Some employees were fired after showing up for what they thought was a routine meeting, for which they had been emailed a calendar invite.
Solomon reportedly said in Miami that the layoffs and cost-cutting would have been less severe had he acted sooner, and he took responsibility for not moving faster.
Solomon has taken heat for living a glamorous life amid the bank’s woes, leading some Goldman Sachs insiders to question his focus on leading the company. In addition to hobnobbing with celebrities and taking private jets to the Bahamas, he’s known to DJ for live audiences as DJ D-SOL at clubs and events around the world.
The board announced last month that Solomon’s pay for 2022 was $25 million. That was down 29% from 2021, but partners as a group saw their bonuses slashed in half.
Some Goldman Sachs insiders are restive and have discussed who might replace Solomon, according to Insider. And The Economist running a cover story titled “The Humbling of Goldman Sachs” a few weeks ago hasn’t helped.
Meanwhile many workers who were laid off last month received no bonus, a major chunk of employee pay at Goldman Sachs.
“I was really looking forward to that bonus…That would have helped me with some of my expenses with school and things of that nature that I’m currently paying for,” a former analyst at Goldman’s Salt Lake City office told Fortune. “Everybody deserves to get their bonus. Whether you were laid off or not, you deserve it.”
Fortune has reached out to Goldman Sachs for comment.
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