Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, disclosed that he has throat cancer on Tuesday, but he said that it is treatable and that he will remain active with the company.
Dimon, 58, revealed the illness in a letter to employees and shareholders in which he offered reassurances that it would be business as usual at the banking giant. He said that he had fully briefed the board and that it was “totally supportive.”
Still, Dimon’s cancer is sure to add a bit of uncertainty around the company, where he has served as CEO since 2005 and chairman since 2006. He stressed that JP Morgan has a number of “outstanding leaders” across its business and that they will work together “so our company can move forward in confidence.”
Dimon, who is the longest-serving CEO of the major banks, said that he had undergone tests including a CAT scan, PET scan and a biopsy, which showed that the cancer is confined to the throat and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. A treatment plan is still being finalized, he said, but it will likely include radiation and chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, in New York. Treatment should take around eight weeks, during which time he will curtail his travel.
“The good news is that the prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer was caught quickly, and my condition is curable,” Dimon said.
Dimon’s public memo is a sharp contrast to Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, who hid his pancreatic cancer for some time until his gaunt condition made it impossible. Many investors complained about Apple’s board keeping shareholders in the dark about something that could have a significant impact on the company’s prospects.
JPMorgan appears to have learned the lesson and taken a more open approach. It’s shares (JPM) were down only slightly in after-hours trading following the announcement.
Dimon is one of the few bank CEOs to keep his job following the financial crisis, which saw brought major upheaval to the industry. He engineered the controversial takeovers of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, two banks on the verge of collapse.
JPMorgan ended up paying billions of dollars to settle accusations of shoddy mortgage practices at both acquired banks. It also ended up with a black eye after one of its traders, dubbed the London Whale, lost $6 billion making bad investments. JPMorgan ended up admitting to lax oversight of its trading arm and paid a $920 million fine in a settlement with federal regulators.