Noel Quinn Appointed as Interim CEO of HSBC Holdings as John Flint Resigns from the Firm

HSBC BankUK based multinational banking service provider HSBC Holdings Plc made an announcement recently stating that the group’s Chief Executive Officer John Flint is resigning from the firm in just 16 months after taking up the role as CEO. According to a statement released by the firm, this decision was made by John in a mutual agreement with the board members of the banking group. Flint took up the role as Chief Executive Officer of the group back in February of 2018 to succeed then group’s Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver and also took up the role of Executive Director along with his responsibilities as CEO.

The statement revealed that the board is currently considering both internal and external candidates to decide on who will succeed John as group CEO. It also mentioned that John will remain a part of HSBC’s family during transition period to ensure smooth business operations. In the meantime, the board of HSBC Holdings has requested Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC’s global commercial banking division to take on the role of Executive Director and interim CEO until a successor is appointed. But the decision for Quinn to succeed as interim CEO is still subject to regulatory approval.

 Flint’s resignation from the firm comes shortly after announcement of Q2/first half of 2019’s financial results of the firm which saw $4.4 billion in profits – a three hundred million boost compared to profit of $4.1 billion recorded in q2 of 2018. Quinn who takes up the role of interim CEO is an industry veteran with more than three decades of experience in banking industry and has remained a part of HSBC’s family since 2008 and has held multiple high level managerial roles such as head of Commercial banking and Group General Manager of HSBC Securities Asia Ltd and Managing Director/CEO of Global Commercial Banking at London headquartered firm HSBC Holdings PLC.

While his role as group CEO is temporary for now, his role as a member of Board of Directors is expected to remain unchanged even after a new CEO is appointed at the firm. Flint is a long time member of HSBC family having joined the bank back in 1989 as an international officer. He has since steadily climbed the internal corporate ladder reaching all the way up to rank of group CEO. Flint similar to Quinn spent a significant part of his tenure at HSBC’s Asian operations. However, the move to oust Flint is speculated to be over difference between Flint and group Chairman Mark Tucker on their different in approach towards the future progress of the firm. 

This move is also expected to be followed by a job cut of thousands of the group’s employees as part of new restructuring process. Speaking about his decision to part ways with the firm, Flint commented, “It has been a privilege to spend my entire career with HSBC, rising from International Officer Trainee to serve as Group Chief Executive. I am grateful to my wonderful colleagues at the Bank for their support during my career, and I am proud of what we achieved together. I have agreed with the Board that today’s good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the Bank. After almost 30 years with HSBC, I will be sad to leave but I do so looking forward to a new personal challenge and confident that our people will continue to serve the Bank’s stakeholders in the best possible way”.

Speaking on the same topic, Mark Tucker Group Chairman of HSBC commented, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank John for his personal commitment, dedication and the significant contribution that he has made over his long career at the Bank. Today’s positive interim results particularly reflect John’s achievements as Group Chief Executive. HSBC is in a strong position to deliver on its strategy. In the increasingly complex and challenging global environment in which the Bank operates, the Board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us”. 

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