Evans, who had been seen as a potential successor to chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, would step down as a vice chairman at the end of the year and become a senior director, the New York-based company said on Monday.
Evans was in charge of emerging markets at the bank. He ran businesses including the securities division, equity trading and equity-capital markets in a career that also featured positions in New York and London. In 2011, he was named to lead the emerging-markets units as part of Blankfein's push to be "Goldman Sachs in more places".
"Michael's deep commitment to the firm, his unrelenting focus on our clients and his broad global market knowledge have left an extraordinary mark at Goldman Sachs," Blankfein said in the statement.
Evans was named chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific in 2004, when he moved to Hong Kong, where he helped foster the bank's relationship with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. The firm sold its remaining stake in ICBC this year after posting more than US$3.4 billion of gains from the investment. Evans was named a vice chairman in 2008.
Evans, one of four vice chairmen among the bank's executive officers, led with E Gerald Corrigan the business-standards committee, a group set up in 2010 to review policies and practices after Goldman Sachs was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors on a 2007 sale of a mortgage-linked investment.
After that appointment, Evans - a former Olympic rowing gold medallist - was seen as a potential successor to Blankfein along with President Gary Cohn, the Financial Times reported in 2010. Evans owns about US$230 million of Goldman Sachs stock, according to an April filing, which counts vested options, stock awards and family trusts.