Greg Smith former ED at Goldman Sachs resigns, an internet sensation | 15/03/2012
Greg Smith’s resignation letter from yesterday morning has become an internet sensation. The letter was published in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times on 14 March.
Smith worked for New York based Investment Bank Goldman Sachs. Smith started at the firm as intern 12 years ago, been there ever since graduating from Stanford and was last heading up the U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The letter detailed what he felt was the company's moral decline during his tenure.
'I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,' writes Smith. 'To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be side-lined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.'
Smith says he was involved in the company’s recruiting efforts and managed the sales and trading intern program in 2006. “I knew it was time to leave when I realised I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work,” he writes.
Since the letter was published yesterday morning, a number of alternative versions have gone public as well, showing a more cheeky side than anything else. The most popular was Darth Vader resigning from the Empire.
Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who Mr Smith specifically named as a root cause for the firm's supposed decline, put out a statement both to the press and to employees where he tried to discredit Mr Smith's claims and calm nervous clients.
'Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients,' wrote Mr Blankfein.
The letter, and the ensuing internet firestorm, obviously made it a bad public relations day for the bank, and their share price dropped 3.4 per cent as a result.
Will this result in Goldman Sachs not being able to attract the best talent going forwards? Interesting question to debate.
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