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Jamie Dimon on Splitting His CEO - Chairman Job: It’s Up To The Board

For a guy who had to write off billions from an out of control trader, announced massive layoffs this week, was called before Congress to testify about his industry in general and his actions in particular, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon doesn't appear to be losing any sleep.

Amid calls that his dual CEO and Chairman roles be split up, the silver-haired darling of Wall Street argues that splitting a company's CEO and Chairman roles has some terrible precedents and a smart of Board of Directors should leave human beings alone.

In a (perplexing) video on Fox Business News, Jamie Dimon along with two charisma-free acolytes wear navy blue polos, crisp Mom jeans and some rootin' tootin' rodeo belt buckles gave an impassioned defense of keeping his roles together.

[This isn't the first time Jamie Dimon has defended himself. Ivy Schmekren recalls Dimon's testimony before the US Senate.]

At roughly the 4:38 mark, Dimon says, "Boards should have the flexibility to decide what’s appropriate for their own company during those circumstance at the time. There are perfect reasons to separate it and perfect reasons to keep it together."

Dimon mentioned "one academic study" that showed stocks do worse when the roles are split.

Then, Chariman Smooth sets off on a real stemwinder:

"Enron and WorldCom had separate chairmen and CEOs and chairmen - and their chairmen and CEO tried to dominate the rest of the board. My boards wants everyone equal.

"At any point in time, there are six on my board who can fire me. They can change the chairman, change the CEO, change the presiding director. That's the way it should be. If they thought it was inappropriate they should decide.

"I think when you start dictating the management of human situations, you are limiting your ability to do something.”

Dimon concludes by going Zen on the stunned Fox Business News reporter. "If it happens, it happens. I don't think it's a significant issue and I'm not going to spend my time worrying about it."

Your move, JPMorgan Chase Board of Directors.

[What Went Wrong: J.P. Morgan to Disclose Details on Multibillion-Dollar Derivatives Loss.]

Phil Albinus is the former editor-in-chief of Advanced Trading. He has nearly two decades of journalism experience and has been covering financial technology and regulation for nine years. Before joining Advanced Trading, he served as editor of Waters, a monthly trade journal ... View Full Bio

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Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/4/2013 | 2:35:57 PM
re: Jamie Dimon on Splitting His CEO - Chairman Job: It’s Up To The Board
It seems like Dimon is either putting his poker face on or is just extremely confident in his fate. Either way, it looks like his comments are some sort of personal PR ploy or strategy.
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