“It’s not like, if we had ten other guys handling our press, we would have ended up in a much different situation,” Goldman COO Gary Cohn told us last year, when we asked rather bluntly why the firm had not gotten rid of its spokesman, Lucas van Praag, whose deliciously mustache-twirling rebuttals to reporters did little to burnish the beleaguered firm’s image at the height of the financial crisis. “We have our team," Cohn said, "and we stick with our team.”
But loyalty, apparently, only goes so far at Goldman Sachs. Bloomberg reported this morning that the bank was in talks to replace van Praag, and Daily Intel can sadly confirm that he has been asked to leave, for reasons that include his baroque vocabulary. According to a source, the twelve-year company veteran has been in the firing line for quite some time, but the higher-ups feared a switch mid-maelstrom would seem desperate: Not a look the storied investment bank likes to cultivate.
Van Praag’s likely* replacement will be Richard “Jake” Siewert Jr., who hails from the office of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Van Praag’s boss and longtime nemesis, John F.W. Rogers, who is said to be behind the decision, did not return Daily Intel’s calls for comment. When reached by e-mail, van Praag simply replied, “C’est la vie.”
*Siewert has not yet committed to the bank, but a source tells us it's his "most attractive option."