Goldman Sachs CEO Attracts Criticism for Lavish Lifestyle

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David Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

By: Benyamin Davidsons

What good is making it to the top, if you can never live it up?

David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, is attracting ire from his underlings for his extravagant lifestyle—including trips with the company’s private jet.  To be sure, the 59-year-old divorcee has some unusual hobbies, including spinning records as a part-time DJ at nightclubs when not running Wall Street’s top bank.  As reported by the NY Post, Solomon has publicly complained that employees working from home is an “aberration” amid the pandemic, and even had unsuccessfully tried to get people back into the office last summer.  He griped that the remote work lifestyle is a far cry from the breakneck hours which he logged at Drexel and Bear Stearns while working his way up to exec at Goldman.

The strict demands led his underlings to scoff at the way he seems to be leading his own daily life now.  In a recent article in Bloomberg, his rank and file complained that Solomon hardly personifies the sleeping-in-the-office routine that he glorifies.  Solomon, who became CEO in October 2018, has reportedly been enjoying escapades to the Hamptons and even the Bahamas- with seven trips to the Islands in just two months with Goldman’s private Gulfstream jet.  The company had reportedly reluctantly acquired the jets later in 2018, and it bears custom tail numbers ending in “WS” which stands for Wall Street and also West Street, which is the company’s lower Manhattan headquarter address.

Last summer, Solomon had infamously been DJ for a lavish charitable event in the Hamptons which was probed by the state for having infringed on COVID-19 social-distancing protocols.  Solomon also ended up in the news over the summer, when a junior banker approached him to say hello, while they were both lunching in the Hamptons.  Solomon had repeated the story continuously point out that underlings were out and about lunching on a work day, though working remotely for safety.  Working from home is an “aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible,” Solomon had publically said.

Despite the criticism, Solomon has led Goldman to strong financial results even in 2020. He has pursued cost-cutting for the company and dissected executive compensation for other employees, which has led to several high-profile departures for the bank in 2021.

Goldman spokesperson Jake Siewert rejected Bloombergs’ reporting, commenting that Solomon sets a good example.  “When he’s away for a weekend, David continues to work, pays for his travel, follows Covid protocols and is back in the office first thing on a Monday morning,” Siewert told Bloomberg.