By Madlen Read
Monday, November 17, 2008
NEW YORK, Nov. 16 -- Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and six other top executives at the bank will not be receiving cash or stock bonuses for 2008, a spokesman said Sunday.
The decision was made by the seven executives themselves, said spokesman Lucas Van Praag, and approved Sunday by the firm's compensation committee. The executives made the decision "because they think it's the right thing to do," Van Praag said.
The seven executives include Blankfein; Presidents and Co-Chief Operating Officers Jon Winkelried and Gary Cohn; Vice Chairmen John Weinberg, J. Michael Evans and Michael Sherwood; and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar.
They will receive no cash bonuses, no stock and no options for 2008 -- just their salaries, Van Praag said. Firms typically release compensation figures for top executives in the spring as part of their annual proxy statements.
Last year, Blankfein received total compensation of $54.0 million, according to calculations by the Associated Press -- making him the sixth-highest paid chief executive at a Standard & Poor's 500 company in 2007. His salary was $600,000.
Goldman Sachs, like other financial institutions, has been struggling this year with the soaring mortgage defaults and the seize-up of the credit markets. Goldman and Morgan Stanley were the only major U.S. investment banks left after the buyout of Bear Stearns and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.