Goldman vs the gadfly: No quit in BlankfeinMay 7, 2010: 10:20 AM ET
The Goldman Sachs chief stresses continuity as he opens the besieged investment firm's annual shareholder meeting.
Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs (GS), tells investors in lower Manhattan that the firm's core values will see it through its current storm, which feature legal challenges, public outcry over the firm's massive pay packages and lingering bailout anger.
Opening the floor to questions from investors, Blankfein is confronted by veteran shareholder gadfly Evelyn Y. Davis, who says she will be "the star of the show." She calls on Blankfein to step down. Blankfein says he won't, Fortune's Melanie Linder emails from the meeting.
She tells Blankfein she now regrets having told former Goldman chief Henry Paulson to become Treasury secretary, and adds Blankfein isn't as smart as he looks. He is surely deeply wounded by this.
Davis is mainly there to grandstand, but she also is the sponsor of a proposal that shareholder will vote on Friday that would give investors more leeway in voting their shares in board of director elections. Davis notes in her proposal that she sponsored the same proposal last year and got the support of 28% of votes cast. Goldman opposes the plan, saying that so-called cumulative voting is "fundamentally inconsistent with majority voting."