HSBC is understood to be urgently searching for a replacement for its chief global marketer Peter Stringham, following his sudden resignation earlier this week.
It is not clear what his move will mean for WPP, which handles both advertising and media for the financial services giant, as Stringham is known to have been key to the creation of Team HSBC within the marketing services group.
Stringham, head of global marketing, will leave in March next year, as revealed first on marketingweek. co.uk.
HSBC is now seeking a replacement for Stringham although it is understood that the company was surprised at his decision, and has no clear succession strategy in place.
It is thought that head of customer proposition, Joe Garner, and head of market planning, Chris Clark, are the leading internal candidates, although industry sources say that an external appointment is considered more likely.
Stringham, who joined from Young & Rubicam North America, where he was chairman and chief executive, is believed to have felt it was time to move on after six years. It is not known if he is contemplating a return to agency life.
During his time at HSBC, he devised the worldwide campaign that positioned HSBC as the “world’s local bank”, and was behind the consolidation of its £350m advertising and media business into WPP in 2004.
That led to the creation of Team HSBC, headed by JWT and MindShare.
Last week, JWT global planning director Paul Shearman, who led global creative and strategic planning on the HSBC account, left the agency to form start-up Bushfire, as also revealed on Marketingweek.co.uk.
HSBC account co-ordinator Toby Hoare has also been promoted to JWT head of Europe, although he retains overall responsibility for the account.