When BlackRock’s Jeff Smith left July last year, the firm only noted that “he failed to adhere to company policy,” Reuters reported at the time. Smith, who worked at BlackRock for more than 10 years, was one of two senior executives the firm expelled last year due to workplace relationships, Bloomberg notes.
Philipp Hildebrand, BlackRock’s vice chairman, tells Bloomberg that the dismissals were in line with the firm’s values around its internal culture, but offered no specifics. “Culture is non-negotiable for a great company,” Hildebrand says. “There is no way you can make compromises. And as we said, the behavior we saw is not who we are, and so irrespective of the times, and the standards of the times, you have to preserve your culture.”