Goldman CEO Warns Remote Working Is An Aberration, Not The New Normal

David Solomon wants to make sure they don’t get too attached to his Rona Rigs (as traders call their makeshift home offices).

The chief executive officer (CEO) of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. repeated on Wednesday his wish that the firm’s offices be filled again.

“This is not ideal for us and it is not a new normal,” Solomon told a Credit Suisse Group AG conference. “It is an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”

The 59-year-old chief executive officer (CEO) has been one of the most vocal business leaders in pushing government officials to move faster to make the changes needed to get employees back to work. He urged them to use the support of the private sector to speed up the process.

Wall Street firms were preparing to welcome a larger cohort into their nearly empty skyscrapers last year, only to see that effort fail with a new wave of Covid-19 cases. Some have been even more frustrated by what they perceive as a failed launch of the vaccine that delayed the return to normalcy that existed before the coronavirus pandemic.

“The vaccine distribution and the recovery process has been a little slower in the first quarter than some of us expected,” Solomon said. But additional stimulus from the government, and the potential for an infrastructure bill after that, will provide a “very, very strong tailwind” for economic recovery, he said.

At times last year, Goldman Sachs had about a quarter of its workforce in New York, a similar level in London, and up to half its people in some advanced positions in Asia.

“That obviously regressed in the late fall into the winter, as we had the sudden increases we had,” Solomon said. “That is temporary.”

The Goldman CEO highlighted the need for newly hired analysts to get into Wall Street style from their office desk.

“I’m very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people to come to Goldman Sachs in the summer to work remotely,” Solomon said.

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