Goldman’s Blankfein prepares exit for as soon as year end: Report

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’ chairman and chief executive, is preparing an exit by the end of the year after a 12-year tenure atop the Wall Street powerhouse, according to a report.

Goldman shares took an immediate hit following the late Friday morning report from The Wall Street Journal but then stabilized and was up 1.5 percent by early afternoon.

No formal timeline has been set for Blankfein’s exit and it’s possible he could remain at the bank into next year and beyond, sources familiar with the situation told CNBC. Goldman declined to comment to CNBC about the report.

Blankfein became CEO in 2006 and until Friday had indicated he was in no hurry to leave. In late 2016, the bank named two co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon. Both executives are in their mid-50s and are the likeliest candidates to succeed Blankfein, at least from within the bank, according to the Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

Schwartz and Solomon were named to succeed Gary Cohn, Blankfein’s long-serving lieutenant who left to become the top economic advisor to President Donald Trump last year. Cohn announced on Tuesday he was leaving the White House.

Solomon is a long-time investment banker and advisor to some of the firm’s most important clients, while Schwartz spent time as Goldman’s chief financial officer and once ran the firm’s trading operations.