State Bank has re-jigged its second tier management by moving P Pradeep Kumar, deputy managing director in-charge of global markets and treasury operations, to head the large corporate group.
The move was following the vacancy created by resignation of Santosh B Nayar last week, according to bank sources.
Nayar, a deputy managing director in-charge of large corporates, had resigned from the bank on July 13 to join the Delhi-based state-run infra lender IFCI as its managing director and chief executive.
Following this, SBI sources said that the bank designated K Venugopal, currently chief general manager at the global markets group, as the head of the department but without a promotion.
Sources said another top deck rejig is on the anvil by the end of the month, as the senior-most managing director Diwakar Gupta, who is currently the chief financial officer and group executive, will retire after nearly four decades at the bank.
Gupta will likely be succeeded by Arundhati Bhattacharya, who was promoted as a managing director by the government last week, sources added.
Bhattacharya currently heads SBI Caps, the bank's capital markets subsidiary, and is tipped to be a front-runner for the corner office if chairman Pratip Chaudhuri does not get an extension, sources said.
Chaudhuri is slated to retire in September.
If appointed, Bhattacharya will be one of the four MDs that SBI has and is the first woman to be become an MD at nations' largest bank.
The SBI top deck comprises the chairman, four MDs, five deputy MDs and 18 chief general managers.
SBI watchers see Bhattacharya's age as the biggest factor in her favour, as she has two-and-a-half years to go for retirement.
Pradeep Kumar had also attended the interview for the MD's position last month, sources said. He also has a little over two years to go for retirement.
The other three MDs-Hemant Contractor, who is group executive in-charge of international banking; A Krishna Kumar in charge of national banking and S Vishwanathan--will also retire by this year and next year.
While Krishna Kumar will retire in November 2014, Contractor is expected to hang up his boots in April 2014.
Government rules require at least two years of service left before retirement for a candidate to be considered for the SBI chief.
While the finance ministry was reportedly pushing for an extension for Chaudhuri, the PMO is learnt to be against the move.
An MD-level appointment at the SBI has to be endorsed by the appointments committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.