HSBC boss Noel Quinn quits after an ‘intense five years’ at top of bank

The boss of HSBC unexpectedly quit yesterday after an “intense five years” at the top and 37 years with the bank.

Noel Quinn said he was retiring “to get a better balance between my personal and business life” and wants to spend more time with his family.

PAHSBC boss Noel Quinn unexpectedly quit his role with the bank on Tuesday – after an ‘intense five years’[/caption]

EPADuring his tenure, Mr Quinn has overseen a huge restructuring, including 35,000 job cuts[/caption]

Mr Quinn said: “Doing this job, you have to give 100 per cent, if not 120 per cent, of your energy, your mindset and your time to the role.

“You can keep doing that, but it doesn’t necessarily achieve the balance in life that I wanted.”

During his tenure, Mr Quinn has overseen a huge restructuring, including 35,000 job cuts, and exited 12 countries including volatile Argentina and US retail banking.

He has also seen off intense pressure to spin off its Asian operations from biggest investor Ping-An, as well as leading a rescue of distressed Silicon Valley Bank UK, in a process that was overseen by the Bank of England and government.

He bows out with the share price 35 per cent higher than when he took over in March 2020, while profits touched a record last year, helped by higher interest rates.

Mr Quinn ramped up the bank’s focus on Asia and boosted plans to invest across the region to tap into China’s fast-growing economy.

However, since the pandemic China has failed to recover and a debt-fuelled property crisis has already cost it $3billion.

While HSBC has been a stronger performer than its other Asian rivals, such as Standard Chartered, its share price has been weak compared with UK and European peers.

Mr Quinn’s shock departure means HSBC chairman Mark Tucker has to pick a new boss for the third time since taking office in 2017.

Analysts reckon Mr Tucker will pick another HSBC insider to be Mr Quinn’s successor.

FAMILY FORTUNES

Other examples of big bosses trading in corporate fatigue for family time include:

Mohamed El-Erian, who quit his $100million-a-year job at bond giant PIMCO in 2014 after his ten-year-old daughter presented him with a 22-point list of the occasions he had missed so far due to work.
Jo Whitfield, who took a career break in 2022 as chief executive of CO-OP’s food division to help her sons study for their GCSE and A-level exams.
Susan Wojcicki, who quit as boss of YOUTUBE last year to “start a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I’m passionate about”.

Adidas get Rish quick scheme

Rishi Sunak’s adoption of the cult Samba trainers with suits horrified fans and GQ mag accused him of ‘ruining’ an ‘eternally cool sneaker’.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to wear Samba trainers with suits had “no impact” on sales, Adidas revealed yesterday.

The PM’s adoption of the cult footwear horrified fans and GQ mag accused him of “ruining” an “eternally cool sneaker”.

Mr Sunak issued a tongue-in-cheek “apology to the Samba community”.

However, Adidas boss Bjorn Gulden yesterday said he was “happy” for “anyone” to wear its footwear as he toasted “very strong and growing” sales of its Samba, Gazelle and Spezial trainers.

Adidas saw an 8 per cent first-quarter sales jump while operating profits surged from £51million to £287million. It is outperforming Nike, which has been accused of overreliance on its Air Force 1 model.

Rooms at Inn after job cuts

AlamyPremier In will close more than 200 restaurants and increase hotel accommodation[/caption]

Premier Inn and Beefeater owner Whitbread is axing 1,500 jobs and shutting more than 200 restaurants.

A shake-up at the hospitality giant will see 126 restaurants sold and 112 loss-making sites converted to hotel use as part of plans to add 3,500 rooms.

Whitbread said the overhaul will save £150million in costs over three years — exactly the same amount it announced it would return to investors in a share buyback yesterday.

Whitbread, which has a workforce of 37,000, still plans to hire 15,000 a year, suggesting a high staff turnover rate.

The business currently has 900 hotels, 171 Beefeaters and 148 Brewers Fayre and 115 other restaurants and cafes.

Derren Nathan, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, hailed the move as “shrewd”.

Whitbread posted a 21 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £452million and a 13 per cent rise in revenue to £2.9billion.

Beer’s up, probably

Danish brewer Carlsberg announced yesterday that sales of its namesake brand rose 15 per cent in this year’s first quarter after hiking prices.

The average price of a pint is now £4.25, according to the Morning Advertiser.

Carlsberg’s latest figures show organic revenues rose by 6.4 per cent, with price rises accounting for more than 4 per cent of sales growth.

Carlsberg said its alcohol-free beers grew by 7 per cent.

Not lovin’ McD

Cash-strapped customers are cutting back on Big Macs, with McDonald’s reporting lower-than-expected sales.

Global sales growth slid for the fourth quarter in a row to 1.9 per cent, below analysts’ hopes of a 2.35 per cent rise.

McDonald’s chief exec Chris Kempczinski said the chain is no longer seen as the cheapest fast food option in some countries, with consumers “discriminating with every dollar”.

International markets, which include the UK, saw sales growth drop to 2.7 per cent from 12.6 per cent last year.

New mortgage approvals have hit their highest level in 18 months, with 61,300 agreed in March — up from 60,500 in ­February, the Bank of England said. The average interest rate dipped to 4.73 per cent as lenders price in future cuts to the base rate.

Haleon site axe

More than 400 jobs will be lost at the maker of Sensodyne toothpaste after Haleon decided to shut its only factory in Britain.

The consumer healthcare firm, which was spun out of GSK in 2022, is closing down its factory in Maidenhead, Berks. The closure will affect 435 staff, around a quarter of its 1,700 workforce in the UK.

A spokesman for Haleon said that the manufacturing site was “no longer a viable option” and it would be a phased closure over the next two years.

SHARES

BARCLAYS down 0.95 to 202.70
BP down 2.90 to 520.40
CENTRICA down 3.10 to 127.95
HSBC up 27.50 to 696.60
LLOYDS up 0.02 to 51.90
M&S down 3.90 to 255.80
NATWEST up 1.00 to 303.50
ROYAL MAIL down 2.60 to 270.60
SAINSBURY’S up 1.00 to 263.40
SHELL down 24.50 to 2,863.00
TESCOup 4.30 to 296.30

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