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Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein has a curable form of lymphoma

Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Blankfein said that he has a form of lymphoma that is “highly curable.”

(Mark Lennihan / AP)

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for nearly a decade,  said he has a curable form of lymphoma that will curtail his travel but allow him to continue working.

In a statement on the company’s website Tuesday, Blankfein said that after feeling poorly for several weeks this summer, he underwent a series of tests that ended last week with a biopsy. The test revealed a treatable form of cancer of the lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of toxins.

“Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors’ and my own expectation is that I will be cured,” Blankfein said.

He said he told the company’s board of directors that he will be able to work “substantially as normal” running the firm but has cut back on some travel. He said the board approved the arrangement.

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Blankfein, 61, received his diagnosis Monday around midday and told the board at 4 p.m. Eastern time and the firm’s management committee at 7 p.m.,  a person familiar with the matter said.

Blankfein, who joined the firm’s commodities trading arm in 1981, rose steadily through the firm, heading its currency and commodities division before becoming vice chairman in 2002.

Taking over as CEO in 2006 after his predecessor, Henry Paulson, was appointed U.S. Treasury secretary, Blankfein helped navigate Wall Street’s most storied firm through the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.

He drew criticism for Goldman’s role in various aspects of crisis, including the sale of mortgage products that later plummeted in value and in the government’s 2008 bailout of insurer American International Group Inc., which resulted in billions of dollars in payouts to Goldman and other Wall Street firms.

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While not quite as prominent as fellow Wall Street titan Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Blankfein has been relatively outspoken on financial matters as well as broader policy questions, including immigration reform and gay equality.

On Wall Street, Blankfein is widely admired for having sustained morale at the firm during the financial crisis and guided Goldman back to profitability and prominence in a new, more constrained landscape marked by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Goldman Sachs shares fell $3.63, or nearly 2%, to $179.72.

Twitter: @deanstarkman


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