Goldman Sachs has recruited a second former member of the Obama administration’s Treasury department to join its communications team.
Andrew Williams, presently the director of media relations at General Electric, will join the US investment bank at the end of this month, people familiar with the move said.
The hiring could be controversial: Goldman has previously been dubbed “Government Sachs” for its close ties with successive administrations.
Earlier this year, the bank recruited Jake Siewert, a former senior adviser to Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary. Mr Williams was also a Treasury spokesman under Mr Geithner.
The most high profile move between the two institutions came when Hank Paulson, then Goldman chief executive, left the bank in 2006 to serve as Treasury secretary under former president George W. Bush.
In the next administration, Mr Geithner hired Mark Patterson, another ex-Goldman banker and a former lobbyist, as his chief of staff when he succeeded Mr Paulson in 2009.
Mr Williams, 39, joined the Treasury in 2009. There he helped run public affairs for almost two years before joining GE.
Under Mr Siewert, Goldman is attempting to transform its tarnished public image following the financial crisis. Mr Siewert joined the bank in March, just as Greg Smith, a former Goldman employee in London, published a scathing editorial in The New York Times criticising the bank’s alleged culture of greed.
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman chief executive, recently appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg, in his first major television interview since 2010, to mitigate the negative attention.
Goldman has also been seeking a “social media strategist” to help it navigate new media and in May activated its official Twitter account, which sends out 140-character messages about the Goldman’s activities, including tweets about charity events and awards won by the bank.
Before joining the Treasury, Mr Williams worked in media relations at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, when Mr Geithner was president of the organisation, and previously for the Federal Reserve Board when it was headed by Alan Greenspan.
While at the Treasury, Mr Williams helped devise a meeting between the department and economics and finance bloggers – a new idea at the time.
He was a fixture in congressional hearings during the difficult first period of Mr Geithner’s tenure, sitting behind his boss as the Treasury secretary was grilled by lawmakers.
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