Goldman Sachs' Paulson Apologizes for Layoff Remarks

February 3, 2003 ( - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s chairman and chief executive apologized to employees for comments he made last week that the company could slash jobs without losing the ability to handle business when the market rebounds.

In a voice mail to Goldman Sachs employees Henry Paulson characterized remarks he made last week at a New York investor conference as “insensitive and glib,” according to employees, Dow Jones reported. Those remarks, which came during a question-and-answer session at the Salomon Smith Barney financial-services meeting, described Goldman’s job-cutting prowess.

In Monday’s voice mail, Paulson said that he regrets having made that statement. He added that he has high regard for all current employees, and for those who have been laid off, according to employees who heard the message


At the Salomon Smith Barney conference, Paulson had said, “I don’t want to sound heartless, but I’m going to tell you the facts: In almost every one of our businesses, there are 15% to 20% of the people who add 80% of the value in terms of their efforts and experience. Although we have a lot of good people and we really pride ourselves on our team, I think you can cut a fair amount and not cut into the muscle, and be well-positioned for a recovery.”