Michael Geoghegan of HSBC, wants the chairman position, or else. Those are the chief executives sentiments in the wake of Stephen Green’s departure for the government, where he has been appointed trade minister. Geoghegan has stated he will not be happy and will probably choose to resign, if not made chairman of HSBC. Unfortunately for Geoghegan, putting him in that position is not what the Board planned on doing. This is according to the Financial Times. HSBC declined to comment on their plans to abandon the tradition of promoting the chief executive into the chairman position, in favor of another.
Geoghegan is especially unhappy about the news of John Thornton, former Goldman Sachs banker, taking the empty seat. Others apparently in the running are Douglas Flint, HSBC’s finance director, and Simon Robertson, the individual leading the succession process.
Many who know him, claim he has a hot temper, and that resigning from HSBC is just an idle threat.
Geoghegan moved to Hong Kong this year. The most favorable outcome for him it is understood, is for his replacement to run the chief executive role out of London, while he assumes the chairman position in Hong Kong.
If that scenario came to fruition, Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s investment banking head, would be Geoghegan’s successor.
Last month, HSBC reported first half profits had more than doubled to 7.1 billion pounds. For Geoghegan, this is confirmation to the independent banking commission that HSBC is not “too big to fail” but rather a bank which is “big enough to cope”. Therefore, it need not be considered for break up along with Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.