Cramer on possible Blankfein exit: He wants new blood

A Lloyd Blankfein exit as Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive makes sense because he’s concerned about the future of the bank, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Blankfein, 63, is preparing an exit by the end of the year after a 12-year tenure that saw the stock soar more than 70 percent.

Cramer, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs, said Blankfein may be afraid to lose talent by not stepping down and letting someone else take the reigns.

“Blankfein is deeply committed to letting a newer generation” take the lead, Cramer said on “Fast Money Halftime Report.” “He is an ultimate team player and really wants new blood and he doesn’t want to stay there too long.”

“[Blankfein] has said he’s never going to let another generation just get lost because he wants to be the top guy,” said Cramer, who said he’s known Blankfein for a long time. “Lloyd does not want to be king.”

The Journal reported that Blankfein, who became CEO in 2006, is firmly in control of his exit and thinking he will retire ahead of or early in Goldman’s 150th anniversary in 2019. Shares initially took a hit on the news and then stabilized.

Cramer said the stock move may be “good sign” that the company is in good shape. “It’s kind of a cool time to go,” Cramer said. “Lloyd is going to do what’s right for Goldman.”