'I always knew this day would come': Read the memo outgoing Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein just sent to staff

  • David Solomon will succeed Lloyd Blankfein as Goldman's new CEO, the firm said Tuesday.
  • Solomon will officially take the reigns from Blankfein, the longest-serving Wall Street CEO alongside JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, in October. He'll then join the board.
  • Blankfein will serve as chairman through the end of year, and Solomon will add the title in January. Blankfein becomes senior chairman when he retires.

It's official. David Solomon will succeed Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the Wall Street firm's new CEO. The firm made the announcement on Tuesday, saying Solomon will become CEO and join the board on October 1.

In a memo to staff, Blankfein said that it had been hard to imagine leaving, but by his own "convoluted logic, it feels like the right time."

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Goldman Sachs Chief Executive and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein shakes hands with other business leaders as they meet U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein participates in a panel discussion during the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington June 23, 2014. President Barack Obama, as part of efforts to make the U.S. workplace more accommodating for employees with families, will on Monday direct federal agencies to step up efforts to give workers more leeway in determining their schedules. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., takes part in a panel at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 25, 2013. The CGI was created by Bill Clinton in 2005 to gather global leaders to discuss solutions to the world's problems. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 17 - 20. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., gestures while speaking during a panel session at the 10,000 Small Businesses (1OKSB) Partnership Event at their offices in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. The 'pendulum happily has swung by' the era when people criticized Goldman Sachs executives taking positions in public service, Blankfein said at the event. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during the New York Times DealBook conference in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The event brings together CEOs, leading figures in finance, and experts from diverse industries to assess the challenges and opportunities that will define the deal world of tomorrow. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 18: Lloyd Blankfein speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2016 at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel on October 18, 2016 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Fortune)
Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks at the inaugural Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/US State Department Entrepreneurship Program for women in the Middle East and Northern Africa on March 9, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the inaugural Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/US State Department Entrepreneurship Program for women in the Middle East and Northern Africa on March 9, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. . AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 09: Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein (L) stands behind Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) during the graduation ceremony for small business owners from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program held at the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College on February 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program helps owners in the Greater Miami area by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SQUAWK BOX -- Pictured: Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs, on January 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Adam Jeffery/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during a panel discussion at a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses event in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Panelists discussed the future of Detroit, the economy and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during a panel discussion at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. The CAP event was titled 'Getting to Results by Investing for Impact.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., listens to a question during a news conference after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. The meeting, set up by the Financial Services Forum, a Washington-based trade group representing CEOs for the largest Wall Street banks, marks an effort by the Obama administration to leverage the business community in the continuing debates over how to fund the government and increase the debt- limit. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during an interview hosted by Politico in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Blankfein said debate about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates may help avoid 'a jarring surprise' to markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., listens during an interview hosted by Politico in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Blankfein said debate about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates may help avoid 'a jarring surprise' to markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., smiles before speak during the LaGuardia Community College 2013 commencement at the Jacob K. Javits center in New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Blankfein told the graduating class that associating with ambitious people is one key to success in life. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during an interview hosted by Politico in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Blankfein said debate about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates may help avoid 'a jarring surprise' to markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during an interview at the Investment Company Institute (ICI) general membership meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Blankfein warned that the interest-rate environment has parallels to 1994, when a sudden and sharp increase in rates caught many investors off-guard. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., waits to start a television interview following a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. U.S. Obama urged Congress to postpone automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin March 1 to avoid 'real and lasting impacts' on U.S. economic growth. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Blankfein discussed the role of technology in innovation across different industries, the impact of the financial crisis on investment banking, and his plans to remain at with the company. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., arrives to the White House to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. U.S. Obama urged Congress to postpone automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin March 1 to avoid 'real and lasting impacts' on U.S. economic growth. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group waits before a meeting with French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici at the French economy ministry in Paris on November 20, 2012. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks at the Canadian Club of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. Blankfein said he would invest in real estate as central banks around the world focus on avoiding deflation. Photographer: Norm Betts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., left, speaks with David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group LP, during a luncheon with the Economic Club of Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, plans to cut $500 million of expenses this year, mostly from compensation, after reporting the lowest first-half revenue and earnings since 2005. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of the Goldman Sachs Group, listens to his introduction before speaking at the Economic Club of Washington luncheon, on July 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. Mr. Blankfein spoke about global economic issues and the state of job creation in the United States. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., listens during the Robin Hood Veterans Summit in New York, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2012. The one-day summit discusses transitioning the country's armed forces personnel back to civilian life. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., right, talks to Greg Brown, president and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions Inc., left, at the U.S.-China Business Roundtable at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. President Barack Obama told Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping that China's growing economic power brings with it responsibility to work toward 'balanced' trade and to recognize the aspirations of all people for greater rights. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 04: Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Lloyd Blankfein attends the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.)
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate investigative committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 27, 2010. Goldman Sachs denied reaping vast profits from the collapse of the US housing market as its top executive and a star trader faced hostile questions in Congress over the 2008 financial meltdown. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., chats with other attendees prior to a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama speech about financial reform at Cooper Union in New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 22, 2010. Obama called on the financial industry to drop it's 'furious efforts' to fight his regulation plan, saying a failure to impose tougher rules on the market will put the U.S. economic system at risk. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images *** Local Cation *** Lloyd C. Blankfein
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sach's during Fortune's Andy Serwer interview of Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein at Bobby Van's Grill on October 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Magazine)
Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, participates in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 23, 2009. About 1,200 participants including heads of state, business leaders, humanitarians and celebrities will attend the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) which started on Tuesday. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)
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He also praised his successor, saying: 

"He was an outstanding division head for more than 10 years, helping cement Investment Banking’s leading franchise. And, as a chief operating officer, David has demonstrated strategic insight into all of our businesses, focusing on the key trends that will shape them and what our clients will most value from us in the years to come."

Here's the full memo:

July 17, 2018

To the People of Goldman Sachs

Today, our firm is announcing that I intend to step down as chief executive officer at the end of September and remain as chairman until the end of the year, and that David Solomon will succeed me in both roles. After I retire, I will be honored to serve as senior chairman to support our firm where I can.

I always knew this day would come. But, of course, the reality of it prompts many thoughts and emotions.

When I’ve been asked about succession in the past, it’s always been hard for me to imagine leaving. When times are tougher, you can’t leave. And, when times are better, you don’t want to leave.

Today, I don’t want to retire from Goldman Sachs, but by my own perhaps convoluted logic, it feels like the right time. I am very optimistic that our firm has tremendous opportunities ahead and will continue to earn its distinctive position. Few things in life are granted, but I’m very proud that dedication, drive and focus continue to define this institution on the eve of its 150th year.

Thirty-six years at Goldman Sachs and over 12 years as chairman and CEO is a long time. As I get distance from my role, I suspect people will ask me what I miss most about the firm and the special opportunity to lead it.

I already know the answer: all of you. The people of Goldman Sachs have always been our most differentiating strength.

When we've had tough days (or a crisis or two), I could count on you to bear down, help our clients and focus on solutions and getting better. In better times, I have fed off your excitement, ideas and passion. And, there were times when your support got me through my own challenges. 

I want to congratulate David. He's been a terrific partner to me and I look forward to watching him lead Goldman Sachs for years to come. He was an outstanding division head for more than 10 years, helping cement Investment Banking’s leading franchise. And, as a chief operating officer, David has demonstrated strategic insight into all of our businesses, focusing on the key trends that will shape them and what our clients will most value from us in the years to come.

I want to especially thank my wife, Laura, and our children, Alex, Jonathan and Rachel. It may be hard for some of you to believe, but I'm told that sometimes I'm not the easiest person to live with. I could not have gone through the ups and downs of the last 12 years without their patience, love and constant support.

I hope to pursue other interests in my life, but I will never do anything that will be as much a part of me as working with all of you in such a special place.

Lloyd

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Goldman Sachs' David Solomon
UNITED STATES - APRIL 29: David Solomon, managing director and co-head of the investment banking division of Goldman, Sachs & Co., speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference 2009 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. This year's conference focused on the global financial downturn. (Photo by Jamie Rector/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
David Solomon, managing director and co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., speaks during the 2010 Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 28, 2010. This year's conference is titled 'Shaping the Future.' Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, partner and co-head of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 17 - 20. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Solomon discussed sentiment in Silicon Valley and financial regulation. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Solomon discussed sentiment in Silicon Valley and financial regulation. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, May 1, 2017. The conference is a unique setting that convenes individuals with the capital, power and influence to move the world forward meet face-to-face with those whose expertise and creativity are reinventing industry, philanthropy and media. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Solomon, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division, Goldman Sachs, participates in the Corporate Debt Financing and Economic Recovery panel at the 2010 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
David M. Solomon, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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