John Thornton, co-COO and president of Goldman Sachs Group will retire on July 1 to become a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

His retirement will make John Thain, co-COO and president, the clear right-hand man to Chief Executive Officer Henry Paulson.

Thornton, however, will continue to serve as a senior adviser to Goldman and will also serve as a special adviser on China to Richard Levin, president of Yale University.

Thornton, who joined Goldman in 1980, is a renowned mergers and acquisitions banker.

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