JPMorgan's Dimon has throat cancer, to begin treatment shortly

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon arrives at the White House in Washington in this October 2, 2013 file photo. Dimon told the bank's employees and shareholders on July 1, 2014 that he has been diagnosed with curable throat c
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon arrives at the White House in Washington in this October 2, 2013 file photo. Dimon told the bank's employees and shareholders on July 1, 2014 that he has been diagnosed with curable throat cancer. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive Jamie Dimon said he has been diagnosed with throat cancer but that the ailment is curable and he plans to remain actively involved in the business and continue to run the largest US bank.

In a memo to the bank's employees and shareholders on Tuesday, Dimon, 58, said the cancer was caught at an early stage and is confined to the original site and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of his neck.

He will undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment that is expected to last about eight weeks. "I feel very good now and will let all of you know if my health situation changes," Dimon wrote in the memo."Importantly, there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in my body."

The cancer was discovered after Dimon, who was not feeling well about two weeks ago, went to see doctors, a person familiar with the matter said. Dimon spent last week in intensive tests and visiting multiple doctors, the person said. Dimon was never a smoker.

The company has a short, medium and long-term succession plan in place, the source added.

The treatment, which is still being finalised, would curtail his travel during the period. He was expected to travel to Europe later on Tuesday, where he was scheduled to meet with the prime ministers of Greece and Italy and also visit Spain, England and Germany. But those plans have been canceled.

The news of Dimon's ailment is an unexpected blow for JPMorgan. Dimon, who has been chief executive of the bank for the past eight years, was credited for steering the bank successfully through the financial crisis.

In recent years, however, the bank has run into headwinds that have taken off some of its sheen. In 2012, the bank lost US$6.2 billion from risky derivatives bets that came to be known as the "London Whale" trades.

And late last year, it agreed to a US$13 billion settlement with the U.S. government to settle charges that it overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The bank's massive London Whale loss prompted shareholders last year to push Dimon to give up his chairman title. But shareholders backed off when Dimon's allies suggested at the time he might leave the company if he lost one of the titles.