Flint begins his new role on February 21 after Gulliver had already announced his intention to step down after more than seven years, during which time he has overseen a huge reduction in staff numbers and operations amid a troubled period for the bank and sector as a whole.
Insiders or outsiders? That has been the debate raging around HSBC since it emerged early a year ago that both Stuart Gulliver, its chief executive, and Douglas Flint, its chairman, would be leaving the bank in quick succession.
Flint will form a new partnership at the top of HSBC with the bank's new chairman Mark Tucker, who assumed his role on October 1. "Over the coming months, before he formally takes over the CEO role from Stuart, we will be working closely together to develop and agree the key actions required to ensure we build on and enhance HSBC's current momentum", HSBC chairman Mark Tucker said in a statement.
Flint, no relation to outgoing chairman Douglas Flint, is viewed by other executives inside HSBC as a safe pair of hands, having been at the bank since 1989.
The bank's stock is up 14 percent so far this year, though was little moved on Thursday following the announcement of Flint's appointment.
Flint will earn a base salary of £1.2 million ($1.58 million), a fixed pay allowance of £1,700,000 and a pension allowance of £360,000.
"Stuart has led HSBC through a challenging and hard period with great energy and commitment and successfully reshaped the business strategy of the bank", Tucker said of Gulliver on Thursday.
HSBC said in 2015 it would hire 4000 staff and lend more in China's southern Pearl River Delta region, a plan that has since encountered some setbacks as China's growth slowed.
Flint spent much of his early carer in Asia, and has done stints in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and India as well as the United States and Britain.