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Jamie Dimon May Leave Chase if CEO and Chairman Roles Split

According to the Wall Street Journal, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon would consider leaving the bank if a shareholder vote to split the chairman and CEO roles doesn’t end in his favor. Dimon, one of the most respected CEOs on Wall Street, came under fire after the $6 billion London Whale trading loss. As a result, lawmakers, shareholders, and the media have called for the chairman and CEO positions to be split allowing for more oversight.

The vote, which will take place in Tampa, Florida but the results will not be announced until until May 21. A proposal to split the roles was put forward at the 2012 meeting but only received 40 percent of the vote. Many believe that because of the added pressure, the vote could pass this year.

While the move to split the roles has gained plenty of supports, key people have suggested that Dimon’s role as chairman and CEO is ideal. Two directors issued a letter on friday recommending the role remain unchanged. Presiding director Lee Raymond and corporate governance and nominating chair William Weldon said that there was too much focus being put on one incident and that the big picture was being ignored. The letter went on to say that splitting the roles would not be in shareholders’ best interests.

It’s hard to argue that under Dimon’s leadership, the bank has thrived. During the credit and banking crisis of 2008 that led to one of the country’s leading recession, JPMorgan Chase was one of the few banks that didn’t need a government bailout. It showed a resiliency that the other big banks didn’t have.

In the past 12 months, the stock is up more than 32 percent and since March, has formed a basing pattern which often breaks out to the upside.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in any of the securities mentioned.

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