The decks have been cleared for State Bank of India (SBI) — India’s largest lender— to get its first woman chief.
According to sources, 57-year-old Arundhati Bhattacharya, who is currently managing director (MD) and chief financial officer, is set to take over the top job for a period of three years.
SBI’s current chairman Pratip Chaudhuri will retire on September 30.
While finance minister P Chidambaram has cleared Bhattacharya’s name, the proposal is currently with the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC). The announcement is likely to be officially made once Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gives his final nod after his return from the US trip next week.
“Bhattacharya’s name has been cleared by the finance minister, currently it is with the ACC,” an insider who did not wish to be identified told HT.
The selection panel had held interviews with all four MDs- Hemant Contractor, A Krishna Kumar, S Vishvanathan besides Bhattacharya- on September 21.
Bhattacharya joined SBI in 1977 as a direct recruit officer.
According to original rules, candidates were required to have at least two years of residual services left at the time of application, though the conditions were relaxed to open it up to all four MDs. Bhattacharya fulfilled all the criteria, sources said.