Goldman Sachs Credit Chief Mullen Leaving After 11 Years

Donald R. Mullen Jr., who runs the global credit and mortgage business at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is leaving after 11 years at the firm, becoming the seventh member of the management committee to depart in a year.

Mullen, 53, will become a senior director at the New York-based firm, according to an internal memo obtained today by Bloomberg News. Michael DuVally, a company spokesman, confirmed the memo’s contents and said Mullen’s successor hasn’t been announced yet. Senior directors advise the firm on matters related to their areas of expertise and aren’t employees.

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, said this week that fourth-quarter profit fell 58 percent, capping the firm’s worst earnings year since 2008. The company said its credit and mortgage businesses struggled in the fourth quarter even as revenue from commodities and foreign exchange improved. The firm doesn’t provide revenue figures for those departments.

“Credit and mortgages remained challenging as activity levels declined across most products and a divergence between cash and derivative pricing impacted hedging and inventory management,” David A. Viniar, Goldman Sachs’s chief financial officer, told analysts on a Jan. 18 conference call.

The memo to employees was signed by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 57, and Chief Operating Officer Gary D. Cohn, 51.

Goldman Sachs’s mortgage business, which outperformed rivals in 2007, lost money in 2008. Goldman Sachs paid $550 million in 2010 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that accused the firm of misleading investors on a mortgage-linked investment in 2007.

Other Departures

Mullen’s departure follows last week’s retirement by Edward K. Eisler, 42, and David B. Heller, 44, who were two of the four co-heads of securities trading and also members of the management committee. Other recent management committee departures include Yusuf A. Alireza, who was co-president of the Asia business; Edward C. Forst, who was co-head of the investment management division; Kevin W. Kennedy, who supervised the business in Latin America; and Richard M. Ruzika, who ran the firm’s special-situations group before leaving at the end of April.

Before joining Goldman Sachs as a partner in 2001, Mullen was the head of credit and a board member at Goldman Sachs’s smaller rival, Bear Stearns Cos. Prior to Bear Stearns, which almost collapsed in March 2008 before being taken over by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mullen held senior positions in high-yield sales for Salomon Brothers Inc., now part of Citigroup Inc., First Boston, now part of Credit Suisse Group AG, and Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., which failed in 1990.

Mullen didn’t immediately reply to a message left with his office at Goldman Sachs. DuVally said Mullen declined to comment.

Mullen’s departure was reported earlier today by Reuters.

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