10 Things You Didn’t Know about Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

When you think of a company like Goldman Sachs, you probably think of things like high-dollar investment deals, mergers and acquisitions, and maybe even takeovers. However, you might not think about the person that’s in charge of running the company on a day-to-day basis, at least not at first. With that being said, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Lloyd Blankfein, has a rather storied history when it comes to his chosen profession. If you want to know more about how he rose to the top of one of the biggest companies in the industry, you can read 10 more things about him below.

1. He’s been doing this job for more than 10 years

He was actually promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2006, when the individual that had previously held that position moved on to a position within the government. For the most part, it’s uncommon for someone to hold this type of position for as long as he’s manage to. It serves as something of a testament to his work ethic.

2. He worked for the company before he took this position

For two years before he assumed the position of CEO, he worked under his predecessor as the Chief Operating Officer. Clearly, people there liked what they saw because there wasn’t any question about who should be promoted to CEO once his predecessor made the decision to leave.

3. He used to have a vastly different career

Blankfein actually trained at Harvard University to become a lawyer. For a short while, he even had his own law practice but then he eventually determined that he would much rather work in finance so he decided to make the change. Clearly, this was a change that suited him well, and he’s been demonstrating his successes ever since.

4. He’s a man of the Bronx

Many people attribute his business savvy and his toughness with his upbringing in the Bronx. There is no doubt that he understands business better than most and he’s not afraid to make controversial decisions that could potentially blow up in his face. Instead, he seems to have an innate understanding for what needs to be done and then he simply goes out and does it.

5. He is considered by many as the epitome of the American dream

When he was young, his parents were so poor that he grew up in the Projects. This young man from the Bronx who attended public school and had virtually no money studied hard, graduated valedictorian of his high school and got a scholarship to Harvard University. As they say, the rest is history.

6. His first job was as a vendor

As a matter of fact, he worked as a concessions vender when he was still a teenager. To this day, he credits much of his success to his early days in business. He was forced to work hard and think outside the box in order to transform his life, and that is precisely what he has done.

7. His leadership is not without controversy

While he’s obviously done well for the company, he’s also been criticized by many for being too focused on the success of the company itself, even at the expense of individual shareholders. No one seems to really be neutral when it comes to discussing him. They either sing his praises or they’re completely frustrated by his style of doing business.

8. He supports LGBTQ causes

One of his more controversial decisions came when he decided to publicly support enhanced rights for those in the LGBTQ community. Some people were so frustrated that they actually left Goldman Sachs, making the choice to work elsewhere. Furthermore, the corporation lost some valuable customers that had been doing business with them for years. Nevertheless, he felt strongly enough to make his stance widely known. He also stuck to his convictions, refusing to waiver once he had done so.

9. He is a philanthropist

In reality, he routinely donates several million dollars a year to a number of different charities. Even though this amount can easily be upwards of 10 million dollars, it’s still less than five percent of his annual salary.

10. He’s a cancer survivor

In recent years, he was diagnosed with lymphoma but he chose to participate in an aggressive treatment regimen. As of now, his cancer is in remission and he’s doing well where his health is concerned.

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