HSBC comms chief Pierre Goad steps down

HSBC chief communications officer Pierre Goad is stepping down after 17 years at the banking group, PRWeek has learned.

Pierre Goad: 'After 28 years on the road it’s time to go home to Canada'
Pierre Goad: 'After 28 years on the road it’s time to go home to Canada'

An internal memo from HSBC CEO John Flint, seen by PRWeek, says Goad "has chosen to retire from HSBC effective 30 June 2019".

He added: "He will return home to Canada after working in Asia and Europe for 28 years, including 17 years with the HSBC Group."

Goad’s role will be filled on an interim basis by Malcolm Wallis – currently head of communications, Europe and global head of communications network – while the bank looks for a permanent replacement. Wallis will become acting chief communications officer on 1 July.

Goad was named the most influential UK-based communications professional in the banking and financial sectors in the PRWeek UK Power Book earlier this year. 

He has been included in the Power Book for eight years in a row, corresponding with his tenure leading HSBC's comms function.

Goad joined the company in 2001 in Hong Kong, transferred to London in 2003 and left in 2010 to join Zurich Insurance as head of corporate communications. He rejoined HSBC the following year after his former boss, Stuart Gulliver, was named the bank's CEO.

Goad formerly worked as a journalist. He was a correspondent and editor at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Wall Street Journal in Canada, and the Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Goad said: "After 28 years on the road it’s time to go home to Canada. I’ve had a great run but I’m looking forward to unpacking for good."

Goad said he plans to take the summer off after moving in July to his house in the mountains south of Montreal and then work for himself. "The management meetings should be blissfully short," he said.

The memo from Flint says: "Under Pierre’s leadership the communications function has won more than 60 industry awards for HSBC Now, HSBC Exchange, the Snapshot survey and more, and helped HSBC defend its reputation in challenging times."

PRWeek understands Flint favours an internal candidate as Goad's permanent replacement, while chairman Mark Tucker is more keen on an external appointment. Goad declined to comment on this point.

Last week, HSBC reported a 31 per cent rise in quarterly pre-tax profit to £3.1bn off the back of a cost-cutting drive.

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