Goldman Sachs’ CEO has a private-jet habit — and critics say it’s flying in the face of his harsh words for staffers who work from home.
David Solomon — who spins records at nightclubs as a part-time DJ when not running the Wall Street colossus — has publicly griped that working from home is an “aberration” and even made a failed attempt last summer to get employees back into the office while COVID infections raged.
But his strict standards are coming back to haunt him as it’s emerged that he himself has recently jetted off to the Bahamas seven times in as many weeks on Goldman’s private Gulfstream jet, according to an explosive report by Bloomberg.
Just this month the 59-year-old divorced Solomon — a regular at the city’s most famous eateries and owner of a multi-million-dollar wine collection — took the jet to celebrate his birthday with his family “at an exclusive enclave” in Barbuda, Bloomberg reported.
Solomon has been clear throughout the lockdowns that Goldman bankers working from their basements and living rooms is ”an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible,” and that he fully wants his underlings to return to the kind of breakneck hours that forged his pre-Goldman days at Drexel and Bear Stearns.
But this has met with eyerolls from Goldman rank and file who complained to Bloomberg that Solomon’s playboy lifestyle is hardly the nose-to-the-grindstone, sleeping-in-the-office routine that he champions.
In addition to his jet-setting, Solomon also frequents the Hamptons, where he famously performed last summer for a posh charitable event that resulted in a state probe when video emerged of guests openly flouting social-distancing rules.
It was also last summer that Solomon was lunching at a Hamptons eatery when he found himself approached by a junior banker who wanted to say “Hi” to the big boss. The underling went so far as to point out that he was there with some of his colleagues — on a work day.
The encounter reportedly incensed Solomon, who repeated the story for months afterward as a prime example in his argument against remote work during the pandemic. But some who’ve heard the story couldn’t help but note the irony that Solomon was also having lunch in the Hamptons instead of toiling away at his desk
Goldman only acquired its two Gulfstream jets last August — after years of resisting the move.
In that time, the jets have been used by execs for personal vacations to Montana and the Caribbean. The planes also have custom tail numbers — the equivalent of vanity license plates — ending in “WS” to signify both “Wall Street” and the West Street address of the company’s lower Manhattan headquarters, the report said.
Previously, Goldman execs were forced to use a less expensive NetJets timeshare service owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. But the bank went jet shopping after a 2019 incident in which a “notably miffed” Solomon got stranded by a broken-down NetJets flight in Anchorage, Alaska, while en route to Asia, according to Bloomberg.
Goldman spokesperson Jake Siewert pushed back at Bloomberg’s reporting, saying that Solomon practices what he preaches.
“When he’s away for a weekend, David continues to work, pays for his travel, follows Covid protocols and is back in the office first thing on a Monday morning,” Siewert told Bloomberg.
And as The Post reported in the early days of the pandemic in April, Goldman’s board approved a massive raise for Solomon as the world fell apart, pushing his total 2019 compensation to $24.7 million despite lackluster results for the year.
To be sure, his leadership in 2020 led Goldman to strong financial results for the year. But his cost-cutting in areas like partnerships and executive compensation has coincided with a spate of high-profile departures in 2021.