For 7 years, Gulliver, highest-ranking director of HSBC, said his role as a group CEO was to deliver company in a better state than he had taken to his successor, and thanks to John Flint, he said company would be in safe hands.
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.
Recently-appointed chairman Mark Tucker said Flint had "a great understanding and regard for HSBC's heritage".
Tucker, who joined from insurer AIA, is the first outsider to be hired as chairman or chief executive at HSBC but one of his first acts as chairman was to appoint Flint, who has served his time with HSBC in both Europe and Asia, and in the bank's global banking and markets divisions, as well as its retail banking business.
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. The new boss is a 28-year veteran of the British bank and a familiar face in Asia.
A married father of two, he will be paid a salary of £1.2 million per year ($1.6 million, 1.3 million euros) but could earn many millions more based on the company's performance, the lender said in the statement.
In July, HSBC announced its third share buyback in a year and rising profits, in a sign of its turnaround. Gulliver's legacy in six years on the job is of cleaning up and tightening controls after HSBC was ensnared in a series of scandals, including laundering for drug cartels.
Investors will watch closely to see whether Flint continues Gulliver's shift towards the bank's second home market of Asia.