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Goldman Sachs CEO stops doing controversial DJ gigs

By Nicole Goodkind, CNN

New York (CNN) — Lollapalooza will never be the same.

Goldman Sachs chief executive (and noted party DJ) David Solomon will no longer perform at high-profile events, picking Wall Street over South Beach, a representative from the second-largest investment bank confirmed to CNN.

“David decided to stop publicly DJing more than a year ago because of the outside attention to it,” said Goldman spokesman Tony Fratto.

Solomon, who performed under the alias DJ D-Sol, began spinning tracks at festivals and in night clubs a few years ago. “[I] kind of stumbled into it as a hobby, and now I just do it for fun,” Solomon, 61, said on a Goldman Sachs podcast in 2017.

Solomon’s hobby led him to headline a number of high-profile events, including an Amazon event in 2019 and a Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party last year. Last summer, he played at Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival alongside acts like Metallica, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat and Green Day.

His spinning has also stirred up some controversy.

He opened for The Chainsmokers at a crowded Hamptons charity event in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020. The show prompted an investigation by the New York State Department of Health for what then-Governor Andrew Cuomo called “egregious social distancing violations.”

Solomon apologized to Goldman’s board for participating in the event, according to a Financial Times report.

“The vast majority of the audience appeared to follow the rules, but [Solomon is] troubled that some violated them and put themselves and others at risk,” a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said in a statement at the time.

Beyond the booth

Solomon’s unorthodox hobby likely caused some head scratching from board members who wondered why he couldn’t just take up golf, but it’s not the main reason the Goldman chief has found himself in hot water lately.

The bank executive, who is celebrating five years at the top, is reportedly being accused by former and current coworkers of poor leadership, and his ability to effectively run the company is also reportedly being questioned by former chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Solomon’s reported potty mouth, lack of collaboration with other executives, emphasis on returning to the office and the recent failure of Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ consumer online banking product, have led colleagues to openly question his future at the company.

“David [Solomon] doesn’t work to play diplomat,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who runs Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, recently told CNN. “He’s rough around the edges and he’s a bachelor, which may cause some differences socially.”

Solomon ultimately answers to shareholders, the bank’s board of directors and the bottom line. And while shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) may be down by more than 8.4% this year, they’re still up by about 40% since he took over in 2018.

Goldman Sachs announced third-quarter results on Tuesday morning, reporting earnings of $5.47 per share, which beat the $5.31 expected by analysts. Revenue clocked in at $11.82 billion versus the $11.19 billion expected, according to Refinitiv data.

Still, profit fell by 33% from a year earlier.

“We continue to make significant progress executing on our strategic priorities, and we’re confident that the work we’re doing now provides us a much stronger platform for 2024,” said Solomon.

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