At the Wall Street bank, Cohen will officially be a partner and management committee member and serve as President of Global Affairs.
Cohen will report directly to Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and lead the Office of Applied Innovation alongside co-Chief Information Officer George Lee. In the memo, Solomon elaborated that Cohen and Lee “will specifically identify and advance commercial opportunities for the firm that are at the intersection of a changing global marketplace, shifts in the geopolitical landscape and rapidly evolving technology.”
Before joining the 153-year-old investment bank, Cohen was the founder and CEO of Jigsaw, a unit within Google that researches and builds products to support free expression, safety and access to information for all, with a focus on repressive societies. Before that, he was the Director of Google Ideas and the Chief Advisor to then-Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Before entering the tech world, Cohen was a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s policy planning staff.
“After 12 yrs at Alphabet/Google/Jigsaw, it is time for a new chapter,” Cohen posted on LinkedIn. “It has been the journey of a lifetime, but I'm thrilled to be joining Goldman Sachs at a moment when technology is fundamentally changing how value moves around the world. I look forward to working with an extraordinary group of people to advance commercial opportunities for the firm at the intersection of global markets, geopolitics and rapidly evolving technology.”
Cohen joins Goldman Sachs as the financial community doubles down on hiring tech talent by capitalizing on recent waves of layoffs amid a downturn in the stock market and evaporating venture capital funding. To lure these workers, who are used to a more laid-back workstyle than what is typically found at a financial firm, many banks are implementing new hybrid work models and cutting down their lengthy interview processes.
However, traditional financial firms have struggled to match salaries for many tech workers. As Insider notes, a junior engineer at a fintech company can earn a salary that is comparable to a VP at Goldman Sachs. Bringing in high-profile tech talent like Cohen could prove to be a competitive advantage for Goldman Sachs in its war for tech talent, as the new hire can help shape policies that are more favorable for recruiting engineers and lend the bank a certain level of credibility among tech workers.