Dimon Reassures Investors on JPM's Succession Plan and His Health

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JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon says that his cancer diagnosis has not changed the company's succession plan.

"Succession planning ... is exactly as it was before," Dimon said Tuesday in a conference call with analysts. "There is no change whatsoever. The board has plans in place, and they talk about [them] all the time for various scenarios, and we are fortunate enough to have an exceptional group of executives."

Dimon encouraged analysts to "take the time to tell some of the reporters the quality" of those executives.

The announcement this month that Dimon would undergo eight weeks of treatment for throat cancer, coupled with the departures in the last two years of some top JPMorgan executives, renewed questions about whom the company has ready to replace Dimon in the long run.

One name mentioned in recent news reports has been Gordon Smith, the head of consumer and community banking, especially in case of a short-term need.

For the long term, those frequently mentioned include Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames, who was sent in 2012 to mop up the bank's chief investment office after the London Whale scandal; Mary Erdoes, the CEO of asset management; Daniel Pinto, the CEO of the corporate and investment bank; Doug Petno, the CEO of commercial banking; and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake.

Dimon did not discuss any specific executives during the call.

Dimon provided an update on his health condition at the top of the call.

The cancer was detected early, is curable, confined to the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck and has not spread, he said. He is expecting to go through radiation and chemotherapy.

"The board will be fully briefed on my condition, and if they and I feel that it is necessary to make additional disclosures we will do that," Dimon said. "But I really do think the next disclosure I am going to make will be in about seven or eight weeks saying the therapy is over, I am feeling better and the prognosis is excellent."

Dimon added that he plans to remain an active part of management through his treatment.

"I've also been told that after the seven-week treatment period I have been advised to take rest. That does not mean that I won't work; they just simply say that rest and recuperation should come before other things," Dimon said.

On an earlier call with reporters, Dimon was asked about the first things that went through his mind when he received his diagnosis.

"The thing you think about the most is your family, as much as I love JPMorgan," he said.

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