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HSBC Chairman Faces Mounting Pressure After Mustier Rebuff

  • Mustier was seen as a key external candidate for HSBC position
  • HSBC has indicated search for new CEO could take until August
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UniCredit CEO Mustier Rules Himself Out of HSBC Running

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HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Mark Tucker’s drive to reboot the giant lender needs a reboot.

The decision by UniCredit SpA’s Jean Pierre Mustier to drop out of consideration for HSBC’s top job marks the second high-profile setback in less than a week for Tucker, the first outsider ever hired as the chairman of the 165-year-old institution. The bank’s shares have tumbled 6.9% since a Feb. 18 strategy overhaul fell flat and on Monday reached their lowest in more than three years.

Tucker is now conducting the search for a new CEO in the spotlight -- his first pick lasted just 18 months -- with shareholders demanding answers and some insiders questioning the board. Mustier’s exit further complicates an already drawn-out process and deepens the uncertainty around interim CEO Noel Quinn and the plan he announced last week to cut 35,000 jobs.