JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon has emergency heart surgery

JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, is recovering from emergency heart surgery, with his two deputies taking over his duties as he recuperates, the US bank has announced.

The lender publicly released an internal memo confirming that the 63-year-old executive, who has led the US’s biggest bank by assets for more than a decade, had experienced a tear in his heart’s main artery, which was caught early and treated successfully.

The bank’s co-presidents and co-chief operating officers, Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith, are running JP Morgan while Dimon recovers.

“He is awake, alert and recovering well,” Pinto and Smith said in the memo.

Dimon led JP Morgan through the financial crisis in 2008 and became a key figure on Wall Street, where he is known for being an outspoken, larger-than-life character.

He previously underwent treatment for throat cancer after being diagnosed in 2014, and made a full recovery.

Dimon has been JP Morgan’s chief executive since the end of 2005, following the 2004 merger between Bank One, which he led, and JP Morgan Chase.

In 2018, Dimon said he intended to continue in the top job for five more years. JP Morgan created the co-president and co-chief operating officer roles, appointing Pinto and Smith, to support Dimon.

As the US government bailed out banks during the financial crisis of 2008, Dimon played a pivotal role. Over one weekend he rescued the rival Wall Street firm Bear Stearns, buying it for only $2 per share.

Since the crisis, the bank has grown into a global banking giant. JP Morgan’s share price has almost trebled during Dimon’s tenure, giving it a current market value of $350bn.

The bank, like many of its peers, has restricted staff travel and divided its workforce to reduce contact between teams, in a response to the spread of the coronavirus.

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