Jamie Dimon’s throat cancer diagnosis may mean less office time

You may see less of JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon in the near future.
You may see less of JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon in the near future.
Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon acknowledged that he may need to take “take it easy” as he is treated for throat cancer.

It’s not clear if the 58-year-old bank CEO plans to abbreviate his schedule in any significant way, although he has so far indicated that he wants to be as active as he can in managing the bank that he has grown into a sprawling 245,000-strong behemoth.

“It doesn’t mean [I’m not going] to work at all, but to focus on my health,” Dimon said, speaking publicly for the first time since he was diagnosed with a curable type of cancer, during a call with reporters to discuss the firm’s second-quarter results. The JPMorgan boss said he and the company are prepared for “all scenarios” as he tackles his illness.

“I want to thank everybody for the calls, notes and good wishes. I feel great,” he said during the call. He conveyed a similar message on a later call with analysts. “I think I have some of the best doctors in the world. I’m very fortunate that this is curable,” he said.

The bank’s lead director on its board, Lee Raymond, is expected to lend a hand with guiding the firm’s managers as Dimon convalesces. As we’ve reported earlier, another executive who may be able to step up is the head of consumer and community banking, Gordon Smith, 56. Other officials who may be called upon to jump in are listed here.

Despite JPMorgan’s deep bench, the cancer spotlights the challenges the sprawling bank faces as its brash leader undergoes treatment. Dimon, who helped JPMorgan sidestep the worst of the 2008 financial crisis, has come to personify the big bank since taking the reins in 2005.

Despite the diagnosis, The bank chieftain appeared relatively upbeat, if a bit subdued, as he and chief financial officer Marianne Lake fielded questions about the company’s results earlier this morning.