In recent news, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) hired David Wells, a senior public relations executive, to help restore the group’s public image after the Abacus 2007-AC1 deal, and other corporate gaffes in the past year.
David Wells will join Goldman Sachs as a managing director, after leaving his position as head of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) press office for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. One cannot help but wonder: what happened with Mark Fabiani? Maybe the San Diego Chargers take up all his precious time… and Goldman wants exclusive commitment (!).
Prior to working for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., David Wells worked for the Financial Times, where he was Editor of International Company news. Wells’ career spans a broad journalistic experience: he was deputy world news editor, and a regular commentator on NPR’s Marketplace Radio, as well as on CNBC, CNN, BBC and other news channels; reporter at Bloomberg News, and more. David Wells has degrees in Political Science (from Texas Christian University) and Latin American Studies (from The University of Texas at Austin).
He will join Goldman Sachs in three months, after his contract with J.P. Morgan winds down, The Wall Street Journal reported. He will be responsible for U.S. media strategy, and report to Goldman chief spokesman Lucas Van Praag.
The announcement is at least interesting. People in the know are familiar with J.P. Morgan’s recent dealings with the FSA – so Wells has some experience dealing with obscure (or questionable) financial dealings. However, in Goldman’s case, the “no comment” approach used by Wells in the FSA deal will not stand. Goldman’s PR crisis is too deep for a passive-aggressive approach. David Wells will have to dedicate all his skills to facelift Goldman’s public image, and gain the public’s good will for his employer.
He will presumably work alongside the PR Agencies Goldman employs, including Public Strategies & Weber Shandwick.