JPMorgan Puts CEO Contenders in Charge of Consumer Operation -- Update
By David Benoit
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is putting two of the contenders to
succeed Chief Executive Jamie Dimon in charge of its sprawling
The bank on Tuesday said consumer-lending chief Marianne Lake
and Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Piepszak are taking the reins
of its consumer and community bank from Gordon Smith, who will
retire at the end of the year. Jeremy Barnum, the bank's head of
global research, will become finance chief. The changes take effect
The move comes two years after JPMorgan put Ms. Lake and Ms.
Piepszak in their current roles and established them as
front-runners to one day run America's biggest bank. The decision
to place the women, both 51 years old, in charge of a unit that
serves half of all U.S. households and accounts for roughly 40% of
the bank's profit further cements that status.
They will jointly run a business that has expanded in recent
years. By the end of July, Chase will have branches in every U.S.
state but Alaska and Hawaii. Its popular Sapphire credit cards have
helped it lure the kind of customers prized in the banking
business: big spenders with money to save and invest.
Ms. Lake joined JPMorgan in 1999. Before taking on consumer
lending -- where she oversaw credit card, mortgage and auto lending
-- she was the bank's finance chief.
Ms. Piepszak, a 27-year JPMorgan veteran, was running the bank's
credit-card business when she was tapped for the CFO job in the
2019 reshuffling. She also has run JPMorgan's business-banking unit
and was finance chief of its mortgage business.
Power-sharing arrangements aren't unusual at JPMorgan. Mr. Smith
is JPMorgan's co-president and co-chief operating officer alongside
Daniel Pinto, who leads its corporate and investment bank. The two
men briefly ran JPMorgan last year when Mr. Dimon was recovering
from emergency heart surgery.
Ms. Piepszak and Ms. Lake are friends, colleagues say, and they
brush aside talk of a succession race.
Mr. Dimon has maintained that his retirement isn't a near-term
event -- for years his standard answer to the perennial question
from analysts and journalists has been "five more years." But the
move will leave the 58-year-old Mr. Pinto alone in the role of CEO
in an emergency, known internally as the "Jamie got hit by a bus"
Mr. Smith said he is stepping down to spend more time with his
wife and family. Ms. Lake and Ms. Piepszak, he said, are superb
leaders who made the decision easier.
Mr. Smith is the last remaining member of the bank's operating
committee of top leaders who served through the financial crisis
with Mr. Dimon. He joined JPMorgan in June 2007 from American
Express Co. to help build the bank's credit-card operation. In a
statement, Mr. Dimon called him one of his best-ever hires.
He was given charge of the entire consumer operation in 2012 and
elevated, with Mr. Pinto, to their firmwide roles in 2018. But Mr.
Smith's age -- 62 -- put him out of contention to permanently
succeed Mr. Dimon, who is 65.
Mr. Smith said he and his wife had decided over the Christmas
holiday that 2021 would make a good last year. He has no plans to
take another banking job -- he turned down the CEO role at Wells
Fargo & Co. in 2019 -- and will remain an adviser to Mr. Dimon
and the bank following his retirement.
"If I wanted to keep working full time, I wouldn't be leaving,"
Mr. Smith said.
Write to David Benoit at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 18, 2021 14:58 ET (18:58 GMT)
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