Goldman's Blankfein plans to step down by the end of the year

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein reportedly is prepping his exit

Blankfein has led Goldman Sachs for the past dozen years, guiding the investment bank back to success after a near-death experience during the financial crisis. This timing is fluid and Blankfein is in control of his departure, the report said.

Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street's most powerful banks, could step down from his post as soon as year-end, according to a published report. Either way, the bank appears to be laying the groundwork for succession after Blankfein helped guide the bank out of the 2007-'08 financial crisis.

It was under Blankfein that Goldman was tagged with the infamous "Vampire squid" moniker, thanks to a 2010 Rolling Stone piece - a nickname that the bank has never been able to shake.

The two people considered as candidates to replace Blankfein are Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, who share the position as chief operating officer, the Journal said, citing undisclosed sources.

Goldman declined to comment on the Journal report. In 1982, he quit his job as a tax lawyer and joined Goldman's commodities arm as a gold salesman.

Blankfein is one of Wall Street's highest paid CEOs. He was named CEO in June 2006 after Hank Paulson left to become U.S. Treasury Secretary.

The bank recently has been flat or at a loss in its traditional business, bond trading, even as its rivals have gained. Both men were promoted after Gary Cohn resigned in early 2017 to serve as director of the National Economic Council and President Donald Trump's top economic adviser.