Whispers about the pending departure of Goldman Sachs’ global head of corporate communications turned out to be true.
New York magazine confirmed late yesterday that the company had replaced Lucas van Praag, a 12-year veteran of the company and its voice post-economic meltdown, with Richard “Jake” Siewert Jr.
Siewert was previously a counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. According to Bloomberg, “Hiring Siewert may help bolster Goldman Sachs’s links with the Democratic Party in the U.S., which controls the Senate and the White House under President Barack Obama.” Employees have already given hundreds of thousands to the Romney campaign, though donations to Obama topped $1 million during the last election.
Van Praag became infamous for his brash communications style. One example:
“There is nothing to be taken away from the story other than the fact that reporter fails to comprehend the subject matter.”
Yeesh. New York suspects that van Praag stayed on as long as he did because the company didn’t want to add to the upheaval of the economic recession.
*Update: The New York Times has published the memo from CEO Lloyd Blankfein and fellow exec Gary Cohn about van Praag’s plans to retire.