Morning Coffee: The unspoken agony of working for a big tech firm. David Solomon's sensible lieutenant

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When you're not a founder

You might think you want to work for a big technology firm. After all, there's all that free food. There are all those yoga sessions and climbing walls and there's the prestige that comes for working for the sort of place that can't quite be accused of causing a global financial crisis that unleashed years of austerity and the stagnation of people's incomes. But there's also a downside. - Your longest tenured colleagues. They are unfeasibly, irritatingly, rich.

There's a bit of this in banking, where third year analysts earning £158k ($203k) can look in wonder at managing directors on seven figures. But banking is positively egalitarian compared to tech, where the luckiest cohort made billions.

It's a distinction identified in an interview with April Underwood, the chief product officer at Slack (the messaging platform used by 65% of Fortune 100 companies) and former director of product at Twitter, on the Recode site. 

Underwood, who spent two years at Google and five years at Twitter before joining Slack in 2015, says that when she arrived at Google in 2007 it, "felt late." "You missed the billionaire period," points out the interviewer, "the hundred millionaire period." "I did, I did," agrees Underwood, saying that joining Google in 2007 felt like, "arriving a party after the crush of people has left, and maybe they’re running low on certain supplies. The rosé is out."

This is a Silicon Valley dynamic that's been remarked upon before: it's not easy working for a company where a few founders (and the office graffiti artist) are worth hundreds of millions or even billions and everyone else is drawing a wage. It's also something that's worth noting as young technologists and bankers leave finance for the likes of large established players like Google. 

Clearly, the answer is to try to enter the founder class yourself. Underwood quit Google's dwindling party for Twitter, which had 150 people when she joined and 4,000 people when she left. At Slack, half the 1,000+ employees have been there less than six months. The company, which was founded by Canadian CEO Stuart Butterfield just raised $427m which takes its valuation to more than $7.1bn. Underwood is back near the rosé. Banking technologists and juniors who leave finance for the big tech brands, are not.

Separately, while incoming Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon spins his tunes on sandy beaches to sycophants in bikinis, Crains has identified the sensible suited guy standing in the wings. John Waldron, Goldman's co-head of IBD, is inline to become president to Solomon's CEO, says Crains. The two men are friends but 49 year old Waldron ("He's not someone who messes around with long-winded PowerPoints that, if you change the logo in the bottom corner, could come from anywhere") is more buttoned-up. "David has a little devilish side to him and he enjoys that," says the managing partner at private equity firm Advent International. "John is more straightforward."

Meanwhile:

Unhappy MBA students are reaching for their lawyers: 'They “bargained for a top-ranking education and did not receive it.” (WSJ) 

Goldman Sachs won't be opening a crypto currency trading desk in the near future after all. Instead, it will holds open a custody service that holds cryptocurrency and, potentially, keeps track of price changes on behalf of large fund clients. (Business Insider)

Antonia Rowan has been named UK head of advisory and corporate broking at Credit Suisse. She joined in January from Jefferies. (Financial News) 

You will no longer find Timothy Broadbent as head of the leveraged loan syndicate at Barclays in the U.S. (Reuters) 

Death of all salesmen: “At some point, when the client falls in love with the web portal and the company starts using algorithms to cross-sell and up-sell, pretty soon that salesperson is not doing much.” (Bloomberg) 

Brexit schmexit: Even if the UK loses a quarter of its international financial sector as a result of Brexit, it will still be double the size of any other European business city. (Financial Times) 

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