How one top tech executive swapped cleaning toilets for a job at Goldman Sachs


Marty Chavez

Youtube/ Re/Code

Marty Chavez

Goldman Sachs executive R. Martin Chavez, known as "Marty," was cleaning toilets in a monastery in northern New Mexico when God told him to take a job at the bank.

"I went there. This actually happened-Vow of silence. Everyone gets a job. My job was clean the toilets. And while cleaning toilets, God spoke to me for the first and only time in my life. He's been silent ever since. [He] said, 'Go to Goldman Sachs. Take that offer,'" Chavez told Kara Swisher at Re/code's Code/Enterprise Series event on Tuesday in New York.

Swisher pointed out that Chavez has a "strange God." 

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Before that, Chavez, then 40, had  sold his tech startup and retired to a beach house on New York's Fire Island in the fall of 2004.

Soon after, he got a call from Gary Cohn, now president and COO of Goldman. Chavez had worked at Goldman as an energy "strat" until 1997. 


"I was just calling to share with you that you're coming back," Cohn told Chavez, who later recalled the conversation in an interview with Fortune.

Chavez didn't immediately go back to Goldman though. Instead, he returned to his home state of New Mexico. His mom suggested that he go to the monastery and then he would figure out what to do.

It worked.

He returned to Goldman in 2005 as a managing director in the equities business. A year later he was made partner.

In September 2013, he was promoted to CIO. In that role, he's arguably one of the most important executives at the bank, leading the firm's strats team as well as a team of 9,000 engineers. To put it in perspective, Goldman employs 35,000 people globally, meaning Chavez is responsible for a team that makes up about a quarter of the firm.

Watch the clip below: 


NOW WATCH: The CEO who raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5000% has totally caved