One Goldman Sachs employee went out in a blaze of glory today, penning a scathing and very public resignation letter. The now-former executive director Greg Smith wrote a long op-ed in the New York Times, airing all his dirty laundry with the company.
In "Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs," Smith wrote, "I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
Today was his last day at the global investment banking and securities firm. He worked as the head of the bank's U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Smith went on to describe what he calls an "eroding" corporate culture at Goldman Sachs and blamed the changes on chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn. He said making money now comes first with "morally bankrupt" employees, and the interests of the clients come later. Apparently, clients are also referred to as "Muppets" internally.
Smith said he hopes this very public breakup "can be a wake-up call to the board of directors." He warned in closing, "without clients you will not make money" and encouraged them to "make the client the focal point of your business again."
Goldman Sachs responded in an email, "We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves."
The Internets exploded over this Wall Street implosion. More notably, it prompted the satirical British website The Daily Mash to post an official "resignation letter" from Star Wars villain, Darth Vader.
In "Why I Am Leaving The Empire," the Evil One mockingly wrote, "I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its massive, genocidal space machines. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
He, too, said this is a "wake-up call." Darth Vader advised the Empire to return to "killing people in terrifying and unstoppable ways the focal point of your business again."