Simon Vaughan Johnson

“Reflecting on the qualities of effective leaders that I’ve observed throughout my career, I’d highlight three key ones,” says Simon Vaughan Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Malta since April 2020.

With a long and successful banking career – including over 30 years occupying various roles within HSBC – the CEO has amassed vast leadership experience, which he shares in this series of CEO insights.

First in his top three leadership qualities is the ability to create order out of chaos. “This is particularly important in challenging and uncertain times. The ability to hone into what really matters, creating a strong sense of focus and simplifying unnecessary complexity is critical for success.” 

Secondly, the CEO adds that the best leaders he’s worked with have been authentic communicators and very receptive listeners, and, last but certainly not least, “leaders must be resilient and adaptable.” 

“We live in a world that is transforming at an exponential pace and a good leader will ensure that (s)he keeps up to date with key changes to avoid the business becoming irrelevant and uncompetitive.”

Since taking the helm of HSBC Malta, Simon shares that one of the biggest lessons he’s learned thus far is the importance of selecting and building a strong, diverse and collaborative team. “As a CEO, you carry enormous responsibility for the continued sustainability of the business that you lead – and you cannot achieve this alone.”

A word of advice

Imparting some of his own acquired wisdom to other aspiring leaders, the CEO says “Make your aspirations known. Find mentors and sponsors who will guide and support you. Grab every networking opportunity and keep yourself up to date with current and future big trends.”


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