Timely PR: Goldman Finally Speaks Out Against Greg Smith — With Former Exec’s Scathing Book Coming Out, Firm Releases Findings From Internal Probe
Several months after being blindsided by a former executive’s scathing NY Times op-ed, Goldman Sachs is finally defending itself — and firing back at the op-ed’s writer Greg Smith. Results of a months-long internal investigation are shedding light on what Goldman now claims were the actions of a disgruntled employee who had seen his demands for a huge raise rejected because, at least among other reasons, he ranked in the bottom half of the firm in internal evaluations. In addition, an internal email, allegedly from one of his managers, suggests Smith reacted badly to the news of a rejected promotion, CNNMoneyreports.
The firm is publicizing the results of an internal investigation alleging that Smith, demanded a raise to more than $1 million a year, nearly double his salary, before quitting abruptly. Smith went on to announce his resignation after almost 12 years at the bank in dramatic fashion, penning a Times op-ed lambasting a supposed “culture of greed” at Goldman and claiming the work environment was “as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,” CNNMoney.com reports.
Afterwards, the bank says it began a probe of Smith’s claims that stretched several months, including interviews with dozens of employees and an examination of internal communications. Now, with a book by Smith expanding on his criticisms of the firm due out next week, Goldman is releasing portions of its findings that could undermine some of Smith’s critiques, reports CNNMoney writer James O’Toole.
“Greg Smith off the charts unrealistic, thinks he shld [sic.] trade at multiples,” the internal email says, according to Goldman. “We told him there’s v little tolerance for reactions like that and he needs to tone it down.” The investigation also found that Smith’s bosses had “discussed the possibility of Greg’s departure from the firm,” Goldman says, the article reports.
Goldman spokesman Andrew Williams told the Times that Smith did not appear to have aired any of his concerns internally until days before he resigned. “We take any issues raised by our employees seriously,” Williams said, the Times article reports. “In this case, we conducted a detailed review of Mr. Smith’s claims [and] found no evidence to support them.”
COMMENT: Who believes Goldman’s PR? It’ sounds like the ‘kettle calling itself black’ and ‘who can oust who first.’ It seems like a PR battle of pointing fingers.
~Karla Jo Helms
CEO JoTo PR