FRIDAY 3 FEB 2012 9:34 AM


Lucas van Praag, the global head of corporate communications for banking firm Goldman Sachs, is set to leave his employer of 12 years, with rumours circulating around the Wall Street press pack that his departure was not of his own choosing.

Van Praag joined the banking firm in 2000, his career having included stints at Bankers Trust and a partnership at corporate and financial advisory firm Brunswick Group. He was made a partner in Goldmans in 2006, making him one of the world's highest remunerated comms professionals.

The New York Times once famously dubbed him Goldman's 'rococo PR prince', and his style was increasingly felt to be out of keeping with the image that Goldmans has been trying to cultivate. The news of his departure comes only one day after New Yorker magazine published a timeline of his comments on bankers' bonuses and his attacks on the media. This week van Praag described the Wall Street Journal's rumours of Goldman CEO's salary as "effluent", and he countered a similar story in the Sunday Times with a swiftly sent email, stating "There’s speculation, and there is stupidity. This speculation transcends the simply stupid and takes it to an entirely new credibility to tittle-tattle is pretty shoddy journalism."

With responses like this, van Praag has increasingly been quoted not for the substance of his comments but for their style. According to Bloomberg this morning, plans had been underway to get rid of him for a while.

His successor is thought unlikely to come from within, or to follow Van Praag's transatlantic move. Current speculation is that he will be replaced by Richard Siewert, currently advising US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, originator of much of the new financial industry regulations.