Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil writes:
It received 38% of the votes. And back then, JPMorgan already had someone else as its chairman: William Harrison, Dimon’s predecessor as CEO.
Dimon got the chairman’s title later that year. Almost every year since, there has been a nonbinding shareholder proposal calling for the jobs to be held by different people. Last year’s version got 40% of the vote. This year’s initiative might get that much support or more at JPMorgan’s annual meeting on May 21 in Tampa, Florida.
Dimon could end this needless drama in one stroke: Hand the chairman post to someone else. Dimon, 57, would lose little by giving up the title. He probably would draw public praise for showing humility, rather than letting his ego drive the outcome. The company operated fine when it had different people in the two jobs. For Dimon, the extra designation shouldn’t be worth fighting for. Doing so turns the issue into something bigger than it should be.
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Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
Weil was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal from 1997 to 2006, and before that at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock. He grew up in Hollywood, Fla., and has a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.