Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday said its top 30 executives would get no cash bonus for 2009 as the Wall Street bank bowed to public pressure over runaway compensation packages.

Goldman's board voted to put all discretionary compensation for its 30-member management committee, which comprises all global divisional and regional leaders, in the form of shares at risk, which must be held for five years. On top of this, the holding period includes a stronger provision to let Goldman take back the shares if the employee failed to properly account for risk.

The move is an attempt to quell public criticism about multimillion-dollar bonus packages expected to be doled out for this year. The company's 31,000 employees are on track to earn an average of more than $700,000 apiece this year, the most in its 136-year history.

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