Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon says he feels your pain. Just don’t expect him to do much about it.
That was the message the hard-driving CEO gave to 38,000 company employees as details leaked about the sweatshop-like work conditions at the white-shoe investment bank.
On Sunday, Solomon released a voice memo that some people inside the firm thought would usher in a new, more compassionate era at Goldman.
Instead, Solomon appeared to double-down on his embrace of Goldman’s traditionally heartless work culture.
“We have an opportunity to work with our clients on so many interesting things right now,” Solomon said in the memo, according to a transcript confirmed by the Post. “In the months ahead, there are times when we’re going to feel more stretched than others, but just remember: If we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.”
It was telling that Solomon also said he would not end but would only “strengthen enforcement” of what is known inside the prestigious investment house as the “Saturday work rule,” an unofficial company edict that attempts to protect particularly junior staffers from spending weekends in the office.
“David Solomon is the worst,” one employee said referring to Solomon’s management style. “No one likes him.”
This employee isn’t alone. Internal surveys showed that first-year analysts complain they are suffering mental health issues, sleep deprivation and other physical ailments because they are forced to endure 100-hour-plus work weeks to keep up with a boom in trading and investment banking deals.
Solomon has also faced criticism for demanding that employees end their work-from-home pandemic routines as he uses the company jet to fly to his mansion in the Bahamas to conduct company business.
On the other hand, under Solomon, Goldman has exploited the current Wall Street run better than almost anyone. Shares are up 148 percent over the past year, more than double the return of the S&P 500 index and even beating top competitors like JP Morgan.
Investors are embracing Solomon’s work habits – even if employees aren’t. They point out that working 100-hour weeks is a rite of passage at Goldman, and a ticket to the coveted, “partnership” status at the firm. Partners earn some of the highest salaries on Wall Street.
They also chalk up the complaints to little more than Millennial angst, and they don’t want Solomon to change course. Who do you think he’s listening to more?