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Goldman CEO David Solomon Moonlighting as a DJ Shows How Hobbies Can Help a CEO's Reputation — and Also How They Can Backfire Solomon is reportedly stepping away from high-profile DJ gigs.

By Kai Xiang Teo

Key Takeaways

  • Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon famously had a side hustle as a DJ.
  • Sources told the FT Solomon decided to stop playing at high-profile gigs because of criticism and media attention.
  • "Music was not a distraction from David's work. The media attention became a distraction," a GS spokesperson told the FT.
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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Safe & Sound via Business Insider
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon moonlighting as a DJ.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon's hobby as a DJ first entered the public eye in 2017, after the New York Times ran a glowing story about the then-55-year-old's unusual hobby as co-president of the investment bank.

Solomon's "love of spinning music suggests a youthful, unguarded side that is rare in the wealthy, button-down world of high finance," wrote the Times' Kate Kelly.

After becoming CEO in 2018, Solomon embraced the youthful DJ persona as part of his personal brand, but the effort soon drew criticisms, as Insider's Dakin Campbell has reported.

Now, the Financial Times has reported that Solomon has decided to step away from high-profile DJ gigs amid increased scrutiny over his job performance, which has spilled out into the media. His last performance was in 2022.

Under the stage name of DJ D-Sol, Solomon has released remixed tracks through his Instagram account and Spotify. Before 2023, he performed half a dozen times a year, often at high-profile events like Lollapalooza.

Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the FT said Solomon's decision to stop playing high-profile gigs was due to unwanted media attention and criticism that his hobby had become a distraction from his job.

In response to the FT's latest report, a spokesperson for Goldman told the outlet, "Music was not a distraction from David's work. The media attention became a distraction." In response to a request for comment, a Goldman Sachs representative referred Insider to the spokesperson's comments to the FT.

For context, in 2017, Solomon told Insider his hobby helped him deal with the rigors of his job. He said, "If you can't find a way to have passions and pursue those passions and mix them into your professional life and your personal life in some way, shape or form, it's just harder to have the energy to keep on doing this, and to keep moving forward professionally." It is not clear when his hobby first began.

After becoming CEO, Solomon's DJ side gig drew criticism for blurring the lines between his hobby and his job as Goldman's top executive.

In 2020, Solomon apologized to his board for a performance with the Chainsmokers in the Hamptons that flouted social distancing rules during the pandemic, the Financial Times reported.

Goldman employees were also asked to lend a hand in Solomon's side hustle, with members of the communications department weighing in on press releases announcing Solomon's music and the company's social media team liaising with Solomon's music label, Insider reported in 2022.

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