- Goldman Sachs is ditching its quiet and imposing executive offices high in its corporate headquarters in favor of an open floor plan configuration just one level above a busy employee gathering place.
- The move is the latest made by CEO David Solomon to make the firm more transparent and encourage employees to interact with their senior leaders.
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David Solomon is serious when he says he wants to be a man of the people.
The Goldman Sachs CEO, who says his moonlighting as a DJ makes him more approachable to younger employees, is doing the once unthinkable.
He’s moving the firm’s executive offices from the 41st floor – where employees speak in hushed tones and company leaders have closed door offices with sweeping views of the city skyline – down among the bank’s other employees, according to an internal memo sent this morning and reviewed by Business Insider. The renovation is expected to be complete by the second half of next year.
The executive offices will then reside on the 12th floor, one level up from the firm’s Sky Lobby, a gathering place for employees with a coffee bar. Employees will now, theoretically, be able to walk up a winding staircase from that lobby to the offices of Solomon, President John Waldron, CFO Stephen Scherr and chief of staff John Rogers, among others.
“The Sky Lobby was specifically designed to be the hub of this office, creating a gathering place to connect all our businesses in an open and collegial atmosphere,” Solomon wrote in the memo. “There is a natural `buzz’ there, and I want our leadership team to be part of it.”
The specific offices will also be different, arrayed in an open-floor plan seating arrangement instead of the glass walled and wood paneled offices executives currently have on the 41st floor. That floor will now be converted into client conference rooms and meeting space, joining the 42nd and 43rd floors in being used for those purposes.
“I believe this move will provide us more opportunities to see and speak with you, and vice versa,” Solomon wrote. “It will also allow many of our clients to see more of you, as they make their way to the newly relocated management offices.”
The office renovation is just the latest changes Solomon has made to a culture that used to be much more uptight. He opened an earnings day presentation that had been reserved for managing directors and partners to all employees, sends frequent and unscripted emails to employees, and encourages executives to pop into his office unannounced.
Solomon routinely walks around alone in the firm’s hallways, and can be seen by employees fetching his own coffee or lunch in the firm’s cafeteria.
In some respects, the renovation follows one made several years ago by the firm’s asset management division, which moved many of its employees from offices or cubicles higher in the headquarters onto a newly renovated third floor with a less rigid office structure, grand gathering spaces, small lounges for impromptu meetings, and coffee bars.
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