With less than five months behind him as chairman and chief executive officer, Bank One Corp.'s James Dimon said in an interview Wednesday that the series of senior management changes that followed his appointment is - but for one additional key hire - nearing an end.
"You can never say never," said Mr. Dimon about future appointments in the company's top tier, and he indicated that he still had a few personnel tasks to complete. "But there aren't any major management" changes planned, he said.
Who will get the important slot still open, head of capital markets, could be announced just after the Labor Day weekend, he said. "We're down to a very short list."
On Tuesday, president and director Verne G. Istock announced he would retire Sept. 30. He will be the last of a former leadership team to leave the Chicago-based company on the heels of customer service and earnings problems.
Mr. Dimon said he will not put hire a new president. "The management team is coming together and we don't need one," he said.
The inner ring of direct reports to Mr. Dimon now consists of four external recruits - including three who had once worked at Citigroup Inc. - plus three executive internal promotions and seven members who were in place before he arrived.
Mr. Dimon also appears to have Bank One's board where he wants it - at least in terms of size.
When Mr. Istock's departure plans were announced, the $270 billion-asset company also said that five of its directors had volunteered to retire. With Mr. Istock's retirement and relinquishment of his board seat, the board now stands at 13 members.
Mr. Dimon, who had been expected to try to slim down the board, said that Bank One's history as an acquisitive bank contributed to the number of directors. At the time of the merger of Bank One Corp and First Chicago NBD Corp., the board had swelled to 22.
"When you have done deals and mergers, you have made compromises," Mr. Dimon said.
He cautioned that Bank One's new look does not mean a repudiation of its acquisitive ways.
"We want to expand, and we're going to," he said. "But we have to be performing well before we start aggressive growth plans."
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