Pierre Goad | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
Pierre-Goad

Pierre Goad

Group Head of Human Resources and Communications
HSBC
United Kingdom


Long-established as one of the most candid communicators in the business, Pierre Goad’s work amid challenging conditions has not gone unnoticed at HSBC. Earlier this year, the bank consolidated global communications leadership under Goad, who has spent more than 15 years with HSBC. 

A couple of years ago, Goad extended his remit to include human resources, in a nod to the ways in which employee engagement is merging with communications. 

Goad joined HSBC in 2001 in Hong Kong, moving to London in 2003. He held a series of global business communications and strategy roles until 2010, when he left for a one-year stint as head of communications at Zurich Insurance Group, before returning to HSBC in 2011. Holding dual Canadian and British nationality, Goad spent 11 of his early working years at Dow Jones, holding several editorial positions at The Wall Street Journal. 

Can you share a moment in your career that you recognized PR's direct impact on business performance?
In the last six years at HSBC the impact of comms has been wide and deep, with indirect and direct impact on business performance.

What are the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities? 
Mastering analytics and sticking to fact and not fiction in content generation. Comms does fact, marketing does fiction.

How do you handle the unexpected?
Calmly. There is something unexpected every day. Handling the unexpected is what I get paid to do.

How do you relax?
A glass of wine in the garden with a good book.

Book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
The Thick of It.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
running a small, money-losing vineyard.