Sandeep Bakhshi to run ICICI Bank while CEO Chanda Kochhar goes on leave amid probe
ICICI Bank appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as director and chief operating officer for a period of 5 years.
ICICI Bank on Monday appointed Sandeep Bakhshi, who heads the bank’s life insurance arm, as a wholetime director and chief operating officer. Bakhshi will head the operations of the bank while chief executive Chanda Kochhar goes on leave till an enquiry into alleged conflict of interest in sanctioning loans is completed, the bank said in a statement.
Bakhshi, who has been appointed for 5 years, was the managing director and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. All executive directors on the board of ICICI Bank and the executive management will report to him, the bank said.
Monday’s statement said Kocchar will remain in her role as MD and CEO of ICICI Bank and Bakhshi will report to her.
Earlier in the day, shares of ICICI Bank rose as much as 4 per cent, amid reports of reshuffle of top management. The stock gained 3.61 per cent to settle at ₹292.50 on BSE. In intra-day trade, it surged 4.10 per cent to ₹293.90.
Last month, the board had constituted an independent external probe panel after more allegations had surfaced against Kochhar violating the bank’s code of conduct. Later, media reports said Srikrishna would be heading the probe.
The cases under scanner include the bank’s ₹3,250 crore loan to Videocon Group in 2012 and the alleged involvement of Kochhar family members, including her husband Deepak Kochhar, in first sanctioning the loan and then restructuring the same.
“In line with the highest levels of governance and corporate standards, Ms. Chanda Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018. The Board has noted and accepted this. During her period of leave, the COO will report to the Board,” the ICICI Bank statement said.
Kochhar is on her “annual leave” right now, the bank had said earlier.
The ICICI Bank board also recommended the appointment of N. S. Kannan as the managing director and CEO of ICICI Prudential.