First direct appoints new CEO

First direct appoints new CEO

First Direct has appointed a new CEO to replace previous incumbent Joe Gordon, who jumped ship in May to work on a new challenger bank brand.

Gordon was a star appointment for first direct in 2017, becoming the youngest boss of a major UK bank at the age of 33. He previously worked for Sainsbury’s, BT and for HSBC as head of its call centres for two years.

Gordon surprisingly quit the direct bank in May to join Heyman AI as head of retail banking. Heyman AI is in the process of building a challenger bank Yuu, which will compete directly with his former employer.

Not surprisingly, the first direct notice on the appointment of the new CEO makes no mention of Gordon.

For Gordon's successor, First direct has once again turned to its majority shareholder HSBC, naming Chis Pitt, currently head of marketing at HSBC UK, as CEO.

Stuart Haire, group general manager, wealth and personal banking, HSBC UK, says of Pitt: "He is a great fit for the bank, with a really strong background in modern marketing, digital propositions and banking."

Prior to HSBC, Pitt held down roles at TSB and Tesco Bank. He takes up his new position in October.

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