An executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) attacked the Wall Street bank for a “toxic and destructive” culture in a scathing resignation letter published as an opinion article Wednesday in the New York Times.
Goldman, however, was quick to respond to the disgruntled executive. A spokesman at the firm confirmed for the Wall Street Journal that Smith resigned from Goldman on Wednesday morning, but added: “We disagree with the views expressed, which we don’t think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves.”
A person familiar with the matter told the Journal that Smith’s role is actually vice president, a relatively junior position held by thousands of Goldman employees worldwide. Also, the person said, Smith is the only employee in the derivatives business he headed.
In his essay, headlined “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” Smith said he was disgusted at how the firm valued making money from clients over trying to help them.
“I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,” he wrote. “I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.”
“The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for,” added Smith, whose client base at Goldman had total assets of more than $1 trillion.
“I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.
“I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. ”
Smith also described how he felt “ill” while listening to people openly trying to rip off their clients. At least five managing directors referred to their own clients as “muppets” at that meeting, he said.
Smith also criticized Goldman Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and its president, Gary Cohn, saying the two executives “lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch.”
Smith added: “I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.” Source: JOSEPH BORIS for International Business Times.
Back on October 18th, we shared the “Joey Quits” situation and video with you. Anyway Joey went viral, and the responses were all over the map. Seems Joe has a new website dedicated to disgruntled hotel employees…and providing an outlet for them to rant about their bosses and unacceptable working conditions. Read more below, and check out Joe’s new site which is sure to please those within the hotel and restaurant management circles to no end. Enjoy.
A new website called “Joey Quits” is providing an outlet for disgruntled hotel employees to air their grievances about bad bosses and unacceptable work conditions by sharing their stories through videos and written reports.
The website is inspired by Joey DeFrancesco’s videotaped dramatic departure from his job at the Providence Renaissance Hotel in Rhode Island in October, where he had worked for three and a half years.
“I was fighting back against working conditions there for a while and trying to organize a union,” DeFrancesco told ABCNews.com. “I was constantly butting heads with management. I knew if I was going to give them the pleasure of me leaving, I had to go out in a big way.”
In the video, DeFrancesco approaches his former boss with a brass marching band made up of his friends. He tells his boss he’s quitting and the band plays a triumphant song as he leaves the building and leaves behind a visibly furious boss
“It was nerve-wracking, but well worth it,” DeFrancesco said.
Soon enough, his video had gone viral, garnering almost 3 million hits, and stories of other hotel workers’ personal experiences began to pour in.
“It was confirmation of what I kind of suspected, that these things are going on all over the country,” DeFrancesco said.
This week, DeFrancesco and his friends launched a “Joey Quits” tumblr where workers can share their stories.
“The goal is to try to hold the hotel industry accountable for what they are doing,” DeFrancesco said. “My video held my hotel accountable. My [former] managers are being a lot nicer. I’ve put Marriott on the defensive.”
In a statement to USA Today, the Marriott said the following:
“We take employee satisfaction very seriously as a company — creating a sense of community and pride within our hotels is a top priority. … While this is an unfortunate way for an employee to resign, we are confident that hotel management works closely with staff to continue to find ways to make the hotel a rewarding place to work for everyone.”
The site launched on Monday and has already posted several stories.
An anonymous worker from the Hilton Garden Inn in Fox Valley, Wis. wrote,“I work at a Hilton Garden Inn in Fox Valley, WI. I took the position after quitting a job that paid more because I thought it would be less stressful and allow me to deal with my college classes. I was very wrong.”
The various workers write about issues such as being over-worked with back-to-back shifts, managers stealing tips, ignored housekeeper injuries and disrespect for workers.
Everything on the website is in English and Spanish because DeFrancesco wants all workers to be able to share their stories and read other stories. They may expand to include other languages in the future.
DeFrancesco said he and his friends were shocked that their ambush went viral and garnered so much attention.
“We had absolutely no idea,” DeFrancesco said. “I thought I was just going to do something to tell off my boss one more time, to inspire, to make my co-workers laugh and it somehow struck a chord with people all over the world.”
How do you quit a job especially if the working conditions are horrendous? You quit with a bang. That’s what Joey of Rhode Island did when he quit his job at the Marriott Hotel in Providence.
Joey worked for the hotel for more than three years while going to school full time. The job allowed him to pay for his tuition and living expenses, he said.
According to Joey:
“The working conditions in the hotel are horrendous. In the kitchen, workers are regularly forced to work 10, 11, 14, 16 hour shifts that begin at 5:30AM and last well into the night. Housekeepers are reprimanded if they fail to clean 16 rooms or more in a 9 hour shift. Anyone who speaks up—especially anyone who is openly pro-union—is disciplined or fired. Managers, like Jared, scream down employees daily.”
Because of this, Joey joined his co-workers in organizing a formal union for the hotel, to no avail.
“The hotel has yet to recognize our union, and they continue a vicious union-busting campaign. They punish and fire pro-union workers, spread lies in captive-audience meetings, and generally attempt to scare the workers out of joining the union. Still, through just being organized and threatening to form a union, we’ve won countless victories, including raises, new uniforms, lower housekeeper room quotas, etc.”
So how did Joey quit? He brought his friends, who are members of a marching band, informed his boss Jared that he’s quitting, and the trumpets and cymbals erupted as Joey walked his way out.