Global banking giant HSBC says its chairman Sir John Bond will retire next May and will be replaced by chief executive Stephen Green.
HSBC is the world's second largest bank by market value
Sir John's departure follows a 45-year career at the bank.
In turn, Mr Green will be succeeded by Michael Geoghegan, who is currently chief executive of HSBC's UK division.
Deputy chairman Sir Brian Moffat told shareholders on Monday that Mr Green had been the "outstanding candidate" following a thorough selection process.
HSBC has never in its 140-year history hired someone from outside to lead it and the latest appointment runs counter to the UK's code of corporate governance.
The code, revised in 2003, recommends against the promotion of chief executives to the role of chairman in order to guarantee the post's independence.
When companies break the code, they must explain why to shareholders.
In this case the bank said that institutional investors had been consulted over the appointment.
"I would see Green as a solid, very bright individual. He is, I think, a fairly safe pair of hands," said analyst Richard Staite of SG Securities.
"I think hopefully the combination of Geoghegan and Green will be a complementary pairing."
Outgoing chairman Sir John Bond joined HSBC in 1961 and worked in Asia then the US before coming to London in 1993 and becoming chief executive of HSBC Holdings.
He was appointed chairman in 1998.