The ICICI Bank's Board of Directors on Monday said that Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, will be on leave till the ongoing independent enquiry against her is completed. In its meeting today, the Board also appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as the Wholetime Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) designate. He will report to the ICICI Bank CEO.
"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," ICICI Bank said in a regulatory filing following the Board meeting.
In its regulatory filing, ICICI Bank has also established that Kochhar will continue to hold the position of chief executive in the organisation.
Bakhshi's tenure will be for a period of five years and his appointment is subject to regulatory approval. He will assume office on June 19, 2018, or on the date of regulatory and other approvals, whichever is later, the private lender said in its statement. As for his new responsibility as the COO of India's biggest private lender, he will handle all the businesses and corporate centre functions at the bank.
Prior to his recent appointment, Bakhshi has been the Managing Director & CEO, of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance since August 01, 2010. Before that, he has been the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank. In this role he headed the retail and subsequently the wholesale business at the Bank. Before moving to the Bank, he was the MD & CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
Bakhshi is known to have has extensive experience of leading both corporate and retail businesses across ICICI Group. He started his career with ICICI Ltd. in 1986. He looked after the corporate clients for the Northern and Eastern regions of ICICI Limited before joining ICICI Lombard in 2002. His work responsibilities included business development, project appraisals, project monitoring and business re-structuring.
Coming to educational qualifications, Bakhshi holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and has a post-graduate degree in management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur.
"All Executive Directors on the Board of ICICI Bank and the executive management will report to him. Mr. Bakhshi will report to Ms. Chanda Kochhar, who will continue in her role as MD & CEO of ICICI Bank," ICICI said in the statement.
Kochhar has been in the eye of the storm after whistleblower Arvind Gupta levelled accusations of conflict of interest against her in loans to the Videocon Group. It has been alleged that her husband, Deepak Kochhar, received kickbacks in lieu of loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank of Venugopal Dhoot-led Videocon Group. In response to this, the bank has roped in former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna to investigate the allegations against its chief executive.
Earlier today, ICICI Bank stocks rose in trade after word got out that Bakshi might be named as the interim chief of the bank. The scrip became the biggest gainer on Sensex with its day's high at 293.90. The ICICI Bank stock opened at 284.95 and closed at 292.50, taking the market capitalisation of the lender to Rs 1,88,157 crore.