A bulging in-tray for the new man at HSBC

Tomorrow's Business

Best of luck to Steve John, starting today as PR supremo at HSBC. He arrives, out of the blue, from McKinsey & Co, after spells with Bupa and Pepsi. He is a “perennial member of the Holmes Report’s Influence 100,” it says here.

What does his in-tray look like?

Well, chief executive Noel Quinn plans a major restructuring of the bank, which will involve thousands of job cuts. The FT quoted one insider saying “You have for every business line a global head, regional heads and country heads in 60 countries, many of them doing the exact same work. And then all of them have their own bag carriers, their own heads of finance and comms…”

Both Quinn and finance director Ewen Stevenson plan to make an impact, and are mindful that investors and the media think they’ve heard all this before.

So perhaps the main thing for John is to look like he gets what the top two are intending.

Some say too much of the comms function is focussed internally. Or in supporting parts of the business that don’t actually make any money.

A shake-up is in order, perhaps.

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