HSBC Chief Will Step Down at Year End, Flint Named Chairman

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HSBC Holdings Plc (HBC) Chief Executive Officer Michael Geoghegan will step down at the end of the year after Europe's largest bank veered from its tradition of promoting its CEO to Chairman, the Financial Times reported, citing two people familiar with the process.

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Finance director Douglas Flint will succeed Chairman Stephen Green, who will step down by year-end to take the post of U.K.'s Minister of State for Trade and Investment next January. Green had been CEO for three years before becoming chairman in 2006.

Geoghegan, who will be replaced as CEO by Stuart Gulliver, head of the group's investment bank, earlier threatened to quit after HSBC had considered replacing Green with either ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) banker John Thornton or Simon Robertson, the non-executive who was leading the succession process, according to the FT. Geoghegan helped the global financial services firm emerge healthier than many others from the financial crisis thanks to its focus on emerging markets, particularly Asia.

HSBC declined to comment, according to the FT.

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