Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he couldn’t imagine returning to his old firm, disputing a news report that said Blankfein offered to return in some capacity.
The New York Times piece “misquoted” Blankfein, the former Goldman CEO told CNBC Monday in a phone conversation.
The Times reported Friday that Blankfein told his successor, David Solomon, in a June phone call that he was growing impatient with the firm’s progress. He could return to help their efforts, the Times reported.
“My conversation with him was, I offered to be helpful,” said Blankfein, who expressed support for Solomon. “I never used the word ‘return’.”
A New York Times representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Solomon, who took over from Blankfein in October 2018, has been under fire for months for an ill-fated consumer banking effort. Current and former Goldman executives have leaked damaging details to the press about losses tied to the strategy, as well as embarrassing anecdotes about Solomon’s leadership style and DJ hobby.
When asked if he would return to helm Goldman, as CEOs at Disney and Starbucks have done in recent years, Blankfein laughed and said it never came up in conversation.
“I can’t imagine returning to the firm,” Blankfein said. “I think my days working 100-hour weeks are over.”
Blankfein then said he couldn’t speak further as he was in the midst of one of his retirement pursuits — playing a round of golf.