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Morgan Stanley CEO and Chairman James Gorman expressed his dismay at the uproar related to the Greg Smith resignation letter at a talk earlier today.At breakfast conversation hosted by FORTUNE magazine, Gorman discussed a range of topics such as the economy, the state of the banking industry and the Fed stress tests with FORTUNE managing editor Andy Serwer, but Greg Smith’s now infamous resignation letter from Goldman Sachs was immediately the main talking point.
Gorman said when he first read the Smith op-ed, he was surprised that the New York Times would run such a piece.
“I think the purpose of an op-ed piece is to find somebody whose opinion is respected, is an influencer in a debate,” he said. “And to pick a random employee… I don’t think it’s fair and I didn’t think it was balanced, to be honest.
“I’m not interested in what one single employee says, they’re not in a position to damn a whole company,” he added.
The letter has been making waves in the financial sector ever since it was published in the Times Wednesday. In addition to receiving internal acknowledgment and a response letter from Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn, the Smith op-ed has also been addressed at other banks such as JP Morgan, where CEO Jamie Dimon warned his employees not to take advantage of their competitor’s public relations fiasco.
Gorman said he took similar actions as Dimon, telling his employees that he did not want them circulate the letter or taking advantage of it.
“Any organisation… can have an employee that’s unhappy at any point in time, and I think you just have to take the high road on this stuff,” he said.
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