- Goldman Sachs has hired Jared Cohen — a senior Google executive and founder of the tech giant’s Jigsaw incubator — to co-head the bank’s new Office of Applied Innovation, CEO David Solomon said in a memo Tuesday seen by CNBC, Reuters and the Financial Times.
- George Lee, the bank’s co-chief information officer, will serve as the innovation office’s other co-head, beginning Oct. 1, according to the memo. That leaves Marco Argenti, a former Amazon Web Services executive whom Goldman brought aboard in 2019, as the bank’s sole CIO after Oct. 1.
- "Working closely with leaders across Goldman Sachs, George and Jared will specifically identify and advance commercial opportunities for the firm that are at the intersection of a changing global marketplace, shifts in the geopolitical landscape and rapidly evolving technology," Solomon said.
Cohen, a protege and once-chief adviser of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, will join Goldman as a partner and member of the bank’s management committee, and he will also serve as president of global affairs, Solomon said in Tuesday’s memo. He and Lee will report directly to Solomon.
Cohen’s hiring could be a coup for Goldman. The bank brings aboard a high-profile tech executive — and doubles down on innovation — at a time when several employees in Goldman’s more innovative sectors have fled the bank for fintech.
Some of that may be isolated. Walmart’s fintech, One, hired away five Goldman veterans last month alone, eFinancial Careers reported, including four managing directors — many of whom were product or software engineers. For example, One hired Mitch Hochberg, once the head of compliance at Goldman’s consumer-banking unit, Marcus, to become head of compliance at the Walmart fintech.
The draw to One may be a particularly strong Goldman connection. Marcus’ former chief executive, Omer Ismail, left Goldman in late February 2021 to lead the then-unnamed Walmart fintech. David Stark, Marcus’ onetime head of large partnerships, joined, as well.
Talent fled Goldman last year for destinations beyond fintech, too. The bank’s investment banking co-head and asset management co-head left for investment firms. Its CFO left to run a car-rental giant. Its communications chief left to join a private-equity firm. Goldman’s diversity chief and Marcus’ head of product fled for other banks.
Cohen may represent Goldman’s most substantial poach from the tech sector since it hired Peeyush Nahar, Uber’s former vice president of technology, last year to oversee Marcus.
And time will tell whether Goldman’s innovation office continues to spark high-profile arrivals. The office is meant to “harness the innovative and entrepreneurial capacity of our people and connect their ideas with our global network of relationships as we continue to invest in our businesses and create new ventures," Solomon said in Tuesday’s memo.
Before joining Google, Cohen was a member of the policy planning staff in the Secretary of State’s office, serving under both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.