By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) - Gene Sykes, global head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc's <GS.N> mergers and acquisitions business, has been named to the investment bank's management committee, according to an internal memo.

The 54-year-old investment banker joins 28 other executives on the powerful committee, which includes Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, and influences decisions about Goldman's business strategy and operations.

Sykes' appointment comes just nine days after the departure of another prominent Goldman banker, Yoel Zaoui, was announced in a separate internal memo. Zaoui shared the title of M&A co-head with Sykes and had also been on the management committee.

Sykes, who is based in Los Angeles, is also chairman of the global technology, media and telecommunications department of the investment banking division. He is a member of Goldman's internal Business Standards Committee.

The Goldman veteran joined the firm in 1984 and became a partner in 1992. He has advised on several high-profile deals, including Walt Disney Co's <DIS.N> acquisition of Pixar, Aetna Inc's <AET.N> acquisition of U.S. Healthcare and Roche Holding AG acquisition of Genentech.

"Gene has played a vital role in strengthening our investment banking franchise, particularly with respect to many of the most significant companies in technology and media," Blankfein and Cohn said in the memo, whose contents were confirmed by a spokesman.

(Reporting By Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York; editing by Andre Grenon)


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