CEO Jamie Dimon Reveals Cancer

In a message to employees and shareholders, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon revealed his throat cancer, explained the treatment plan, and described his "business-as-usual" approach.

Dear Colleagues and Shareholders -

I wanted to let you know that I have just been diagnosed with throat cancer.
The good news is that the prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer
was caught quickly, and my condition is curable. Following thorough tests that
included a CAT scan, PET scan and a biopsy, the cancer is confined to the
original site and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of my neck.
Importantly, there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in my body.

My evaluation and treatment plan are still being finalized, but at this time
it appears I will begin radiation and chemotherapy treatment shortly at
Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, which should take approximately eight
weeks. While the treatment will curtail my travel during this period, I have
been advised that I will be able to continue to be actively involved in our
business, and we will continue to run the company as normal. Our Board has
been fully briefed and is totally supportive.

As you all know, we have outstanding leaders across our businesses and
functions – the best team I've ever had the privilege of working with – so our
company will move forward together with confidence as we continue to deliver
first-class results for our customers, communities and shareholders.

I feel very good now and will let all of you know if my health situation

I appreciate your support and want to thank our employees for the amazing work
they do day-in and day-out. I'm very proud to be part of this company and
honored to be working with such an exceptional group of people.


Dimon has been at JPMorgan for 10 years. Critics thought he should have been ousted after the bank lost more than $2 billion and then paid $20 billion in fines because of bad trades. But he had the support of his board to stay. In fact, they gave him a raise.

It's interesting to contrast Dimon's approach with Steve Jobs's. Jobs had pancreatic cancer while CEO of Apple and was quite private about his condition. One difference may be the prognosis. Although Jobs lived with pancreatic cancer for seven years (2003 - 2011), the prognosis typically is far worse, with a survival rates a mere 3%.

Posted on Business Wire, the notice is called a press release, a memo, a letter, and a note in various news articles.

Discussion Starters:

  • Assess Dimon's message and approach. How do you find his openness? Transparent, TMI, or something else?
  • In Chapter 8, we discuss how to organize bad-news messages. Dimon's message clearly follows the direct organizational plan. Is this the best choice? Why or why not?
  • What direction do you think Dimon got from the board in composing the message? In other words, how, if at all, do you think they influenced Dimon's communication?