Jamie Dimon the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has throat cancer and will begin treatment shortly at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he said in a note to the bank’s employees and shareholders late Tuesday.
Doctors discovered the cancer at an early stage, Mr. Dimon, 58, said, noting that his condition was “curable.”
After a series of tests, he said the doctors confirmed that the cancer had not spread beyond the “original site” and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of his neck.
Mr. Dimon assured employees at JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, that the prognosis from the doctors was “excellent.”
Mr. Dimon, who has held the dual roles of chief executive and chairman at the bank since 2006, has been atop JPMorgan longer than any other bank chief.
The announcement of his diagnosis came on Mr. Dimon’s 10-year anniversary at JPMorgan. That tenure, which began when JPMorgan acquired Bank One, has been marked by triumph — the bank emerged from the financial crisis in better shape than its rivals — and by tumult.
The bank has worked to mend its frayed relationships with regulators — a painful reconciliation that cost it roughly $20 billion. In November, JPMorgan reached a record $13 billion settlement with a range of government authorities over its sale of questionable mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The bank also reached a $2 billion settlement over accusations that it failed to sound alarms about Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
JPMorgan has also been buffeted by the departure of several top executives. In the last two years alone, at least 10 senior executives have left JPMorgan.
Most recently, Michael J. Cavanagh, once considered an heir to Mr. Dimon, left the bank to join the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.
And like its rivals, JPMorgan, which will report second-quarter earnings on July 15, is grappling with a slowdown in its trading business.
It has been a particularly grueling stretch for trading units across Wall Street. The sluggish trading revenue traces, in part, to a spate of rules passed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
In the past, banks made some of their riskiest wagers — bets that sometimes translated into rich profits — through trading complex derivatives, bonds and commodities. In the new banking landscape, where interest rates remain persistently low, the role of those businesses has been diminished.
In his annual letter to shareholders in April, Mr. Dimon stressed that despite the “constant and intense pressure,” he was proud of the bank’s resiliency and its resolve. Last year, JPMorgan earned $17.9 billion in profit despite the legal costs.
Mr. Dimon reiterated his faith in the leadership of the bank on Tuesday. He did not outline any plans to cede the reins of the bank while he has treatment — a process that he said should last about eight weeks.
In his note, Mr. Dimon emphasized that the company would “continue to deliver first-class results for our customers.”
The illness of any chief executive naturally prompts questions about who is prepared to take over, at least for a little while. But Mr. Dimon emphasized in his note that he would remain immersed in the day-to-day operations of the bank.
JPMorgan’s board has remained firmly behind Mr. Dimon, redoubling support for him. The board awarded Mr. Dimon $20 million in annual compensation for his work in 2013. The raise came one year after the board had cut his compensation to $11.5 million.
Even before Mr. Dimon’s diagnosis the board agreed on various succession plans.
“The board had already established a short-term, medium-term and longer-term succession plan,” said a JPMorgan spokesman, Joseph Evangelisti.
Among the potential successors, people briefed on the matter said, are Gordon Smith, the head of JPMorgan’s consumer bank, and Mary Erdoes, who runs the asset management business.The inclusion of Mr. Smith and Ms. Erdoes reflected the changing fortunes of banking. JPMorgan’s consumer business, for example, has taken on more prominence as the bank shifts its focus to credit cards and auto loans and away from intricate deal-making and trades that once were the hallmark of Wall Street. * This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.