Lloyd Blankfein is reportedly planning to leave Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: 'I haven't felt this good since 2006'
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: 'I haven't felt this good since 2006'

Lloyd Blankfein, one of Wall Street's most powerful players, is reportedly preparing to step down from his perch at Goldman Sachs as soon as the end of the year.

Blankfein has led Goldman Sachs (GS) for the past dozen years, guiding the investment bank back to success after a near-death experience during the financial crisis.

The 63-year-old will be leaving on his own terms, The Wall Street Journal reported. Blankfein will probably retire ahead of the bank's 150th anniversary in 2019, or early that year, the paper reported.

Blankfein joked about the news, without confirming or denying it.

"It's the @WSJ's announcement...not mine," he tweeted. "I feel like Huck Finn listening to his own eulogy."

Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Investors took the report in stride. Shares were mostly unchanged from their prices prior to the news.

The Wall Street firm expects to name one of its co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, to succeed Blankfein, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.

Goldman Sachs has been grooming Schwartz and Solomon for the top job ever since former president Gary Cohn left the bank last year to become President Trump's top economic adviser. Cohn announced his resignation from the White House this week amid a clash over trade policy.

Related: Blankfein: Economy is 'higher' under Trump than if Clinton won

Blankfein is one of the longest-tenured Wall Street chiefs, exceeded only by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) boss Jamie Dimon, who recently revealed plans to stay on for another five years.

Blankfein's exit would cap a successful career on Wall Street that began when he joined Goldman's commodities trading division in 1982. He rose through the ranks and eventually got the top job when Hank Paulson left to become treasury secretary under President George W. Bush in 2006.

Following the 2008 crisis, Blankfein became the poster child for Wall Street's role in fueling the meltdown. He was forced to testify before Congress, and Goldman Sachs later paid billions in fines.

More recently, Blankfein was villainized during the election when Trump's closing campaign ad portrayed the CEO as a globalist villain. Even though he supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, Blankfein recently told CNN the economy is "higher" under Trump than if Clinton had won.

At other times, Blankfein has been critical of Trump. Last June, he used his first-ever tweet to slam Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate accord.

Blankfein survived a run-in with cancer after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015. He declared himself cancer-free about a year later following chemotherapy treatments.

Although Blankfein is credited with getting Goldman Sachs back on its feet after the crisis, its trading division has struggled in recent years, and some analysts have faulted Blankfein's leadership.

Over the past year, Goldman stock has lagged far behind rival Morgan Stanley (MS) as well as bigger banks, such as Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC).

— CNN's Cristina Alesci contributed to this report.

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