HSBC removes CEO, announces plans to cut 4,000 jobs

HSBC removes CEO, announces plans to cut 4,000 jobs
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HSBC Holdings on Monday announced the ouster of its CEO and 4,000 planned job cuts, according to Bloomberg.

John Flint will depart as CEO after just 18 months, due in part to an “increasingly complex” environment, the bank said, according to the publication.

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Flint’s time as CEO was marked by friction with Chairman Mark Tucker, who emphasized a data-driven approach to leadership as opposed to Flint prioritizing the firm’s culture, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The two were also at odds over Flint’s emphasis on expanding the firm’s presence in China while U.S. prosecutors partially used its relationship with Chinese tech firm Huawei Technologies to build a case against Huawei, according to Bloomberg.

Tucker said on a media call that he did not clash with Flint and that China “absolutely” did not pressure the bank in relation to Flint, according to the publication.

HSBC said on the same call that Noel Quinn, head of global commercial banking, will serve as interim CEO.

The job cuts, meanwhile, will focus on senior executives, according to the media call, with HSBC executives saying they expect severance costs between $650 million and $700 million in 2019 and comparable annualized savings.

“Our sense is the climate is getting increasingly complex, increasingly challenging, and that we both agree a change is needed to really make the most of the opportunities ahead of us,” Tucker said Monday, according to Bloomberg, adding that “under no circumstances” would he serve as CEO.