As is widely known at this point, Jon Corzine left Goldman Sachs in January 1999, after serving as co-CEO with Hank Paulson. JSC didn't leave of his of volition so much as he was pushed by his colleague, who'd convinced the management committee it was the right thing to do while Corzine was skiing with his family over Christmas. In his upcoming book, "Goldman's Alpha War," author William Cohan explores what exactly it was about Corzine that rubbed Hank the wrong way. One major event that grinded Paulson's gears was when Jon "initiated talks about a merger with Mellon Bank," without notifying anyone first, which Paulson knew would anger the management committee (a "major political misstep" HP used to nail JSC to the wall). But more generally, Paulson just didn't like the cut of Corzine's jib, especially when it came to JSC's allegedly insatiable appetite to expand the franchise.
Paulson says Cohan he didn’t focus on their differences at first. “When you’re boiling in oil, in the middle of a crisis, the challenges are so consuming there is no time for anything else,” he says. But as business improved and an I.P.O. loomed, Corzine’s desire to expand the firm irritated Paulson. “Jon wanted to do business in every country, everywhere, and wanted to be big,” one partner says. “He was like the guy going through a cafeteria, and he wanted to take everything and put it on his tray. That concerned people.” “The differences between Corzine and me became huge,” Paulson tells Cohan. “I was tired of bumping my head against a wall.”
He was also tired of-and frankly, grossed out by- this image running through his head every time Corzine walked into his office.