JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Undergoes Emergency Heart Surgery

March 5, 2020 Updated: March 5, 2020
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JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon is recovering from emergency heart surgery that took place on Thursday morning, with two deputies taking over as he recuperates, the bank said.

Dimon experienced an acute aortic dissection, which was caught early and treated successfully, JPMorgan said by publicly releasing an internal memo.

He is “awake, alert and recovering well,” according to the memo.

The bank’s Co-Presidents and Co-Chief Operating Officers Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith sent the message to all employees, and are running JPMorgan as Dimon recovers.

The 63-year-old banker has been CEO of JPMorgan for over a decade, and is a larger-than-life figure on Wall Street.

In 2014, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, which sidelined him for several months. He curtailed travel and made fewer public appearances, but eventually recovered and got back to work.

The condition for which Dimon had surgery on Thursday involves a tear to the inner layer of the aorta, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website. It can be fatal if the rupture stems through the outside aortic wall.

Dimon’s cancer bout led to questions about who might succeed him at the largest U.S. bank. Through the years, many JPMorgan executives have been viewed as potential successors, but almost as many have left the bank out of impatience or better opportunities.

Although Pinto and Smith are Dimon’s joint deputies who can capably run the bank in an emergency, few analysts or insiders see them as permanent successors. They are relatively close in age to Dimon, who said in promoting them in 2018 that he wanted to stay in the job for five more years.

Another person often talked about as a potential CEO is Marianne Lake, who was previously the bank’s finance chief, and now runs JPMorgan’s consumer business.

By Elizabeth Dilts-Marshall and David Henry