Cutts succeeds Clark as HSBC marketing chief

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HSBC has appointed former senior Mondelez International executive Leanne Cutts as group head of marketing, succeeding Chris Clark, who is leaving the bank after 15 years.

Cutts, who takes up the role this month, was president for gum, candy and beverages in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa at Mondelez from October 2016, based in Tokyo. 

She joined the snacks company in 2011 as vice-president of marketing for Asia-Pacific, relocating to Japan from Singapore two years later as national president and managing director.

Before Mondelez, Cutts (pictured) spent 17 years with GlaxoSmithKline in Sydney, London, Delhi and Hong Kong. She was previously a brand manager at Unilever in Australia.

Clark, who is credited with playing a key role in developing HSBC’s "World’s local bank" tagline, announced in June last year that he would leave the company but stay on until a successor was found. In August, Clark said in an interview that the bank’s positioning had become disingenuous after it began cutting costs and exiting smaller markets such as Thailand.

When he departs next week, Clark will be the latest in a line of senior marketers to leave HSBC over the past 18 months. HSBC parted company with Amanda Rendle, global head of marketing for commercial banking, in December 2015 and Philip Mehl, EMEA chief marketing officer for retail banking and wealth management, in November last year.

Last month, HSBC launched a campaign by J Walter Thompson that continued the narrative about how the bank can help people’s lives with a story about a father supporting his daughter’s swimming ambitions.

HSBC confirmed the hire but declined to comment further.