Barclays boss CS Venkatakrishnan reveals cancer diagnosis, but banking giant’s CEO vows to continue to work through treatment
- Venkatakrishnan said he has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Condition has been caught early and he will be in treatment for up to 16 weeks
- He will continue to work during this period but may have to do so from home
The CEO of Barclays CS Venkatakrishnan has informed the banking giant’s board that he has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
The American banker, who is known as Venkat and took over from Jes Staley in November last year, assured colleagues in an open letter that his ‘prognosis is excellent’ and his ‘condition is curable’ with treatment.
Venkatakrishnan said treatment for the cancer will likely last 12 to 16 weeks, during which time he has said ‘the company will run normally’ with the CEO pledging to be ‘actively engaged in managing it’.
He added that he may have to work from home for some periods as he will not be able to travel.
C.S. Venkatakrishnan was named CEO of Barclays in November last year
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.
In the UK, more than 13,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year, according to the NHS.
Venkatakrishnan has endured a tumultuous tenure, with Barclays hit by three historic scandals since he took the reins – a timeshare mis-selling debacle, the US bond-trading issue and an accusation from the Bank of England that it is ‘gaming the rules’ on pensions.
Having served as chief risk officer between 2016 and 2020, Venkatakrishnan earlier this year denied Barclays has a culture problem, saying: ‘Very strong risk management and culture is important, as well as a harmonious relationship with regulators.’
However, the bank has performed reasonably well during his time in charge, aided by rising interest rates.
The lender made a pre-tax profit of £2billion between July and September, up from £1.9billion in the same period a year ago and above analysts’ average forecasts of £1.8billion compiled by the bank.
But Barclays shares are down roughly 12.7 per cent since he took charge.
Venkatakrishnan told colleagues: ‘The good news is that the matter has been detected early, with scans and biopsies confirming it to be very localised.
‘My treatment is at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The doctors have advised that my prognosis is excellent, and my condition is curable with their prescribed regimen. This is likely to last 12 to 16 weeks.
‘During this period, the company will run normally, and I will continue to be actively engaged in managing it. However, I will have to work from home for some periods and not be able to travel. Fortunately, I have always exercised regularly and am strong and fit as I commence this treatment.
‘The board has been kept apprised of my situation and I am enormously grateful for their support.’
He added that Barclays has a ‘highly capable and seasoned executive committee, supported by a talented senior management team’, and he is confident the bank will continue ‘to serve our customers and clients well, and produce strong operating performance for our shareholders’.
He said: ‘I am deeply appreciative, and very proud, of your support and extraordinary efforts in these volatile times.’