Blankfein has led Goldman Sachs for the past dozen years, guiding the investment bank back to success after a near-death experience during the financial crisis.
While the timing of Blankfein's actual departure could still change, according to the report, when he does step away, a "quick transfer of power" is likely to occur from within the bank's internal ranks, according to the Journal.
Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to exit the firm as soon as year end.
Blankfein, who has been Goldman's CEO and chairman for roughly 12 years, has always been rumored to be considering his retirement prospects.
The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter that it didn't identify, said Blankfein, 63, could leave this year and the bank meant to replace him with one of its two co-presidents, David Solomon or Harvey Schwartz.
Blankfein will probably retire ahead of the bank's 150th anniversary in 2019
Following the 2008 crisis, Blankfein became the poster child for Wall Street's role in fueling the meltdown. The bank structured the infamous "Abacus" deal for hedge fund manager John Paulson, which bet against mortgages and suckered investors.
It struggled to make money in trading during an era of low interest rates and tight regulation, and drew scorn from some prominent critics.
Mike Mayo, a bank analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., said the bank has four good contenders as CEO a year from now.
Leslie Shribman, Goldman's vice president of media relations, declined to comment on the matter. He later served as a vice chairman in for the fixed income, currency, and commodities division.
The bank, and its leader, have only grown in notoriety in recent years.