Friday, 19 April, 2019

ICICI Bank board appoints Sandeep Bakhshi as whole time director, COO

Chanda Kochhar Chanda Kochhar ICICI Bank CEO & MD
Priscilla Morrison | 19 June, 2018, 10:34

His appointment as COO will be for a period of five years, subject to regulatory approvals.

All executive directors on the Board of ICICI Bank and the executive management will report to him.

The board of directors of the bank, which had come out in strong support of Kochhar when the complaints surfaced in March, announced the decisions after a daylong meeting to try and quell mounting criticism of its governance practices. And during the period, the newly-appointed COO will report to the board.

The statement further indicated that the CEO and MD of the bank will be on leave until the completion of the independent enquiry in the case.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO Sandeep Bakhshi has stepped into new shoes, and pretty large ones at that. ICICI director NS Kannan has been named the new operational head of ICICI Pru Life.

Mr. Bakshi, who started his career in 1986, has been replaced by the bank's executive director N.S. Kannan at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. This is a weak board as it should have asked her to go on leave, " Subramanian said. ICICI Bank Board denied the charges and backed Chanda Kochhar. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already registered a preliminary enquiry into allegations that the ICICI Bank chief 's husband Deepak Kochhar's company NuPower Renewabales received an investment from a Videocon group company as a quid pro quo for a loan from the bank.

Earlier in the day, shares of ICICI Bank rose as much as 4 per cent, amid reports of reshuffle of top management.

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The directors tried to soften the blow by saying in a statement that Bakhshi will report to Kochhar.

Even as the Board stood by her, details of misdoings emerged in the media, triggering a multi-agency probe against Kochhar by various law enforcement agencies.

Kochhar's decision to go on leave has been widely speculated in the media and comes a little over a week after the bank's board chose to initiate an independent probe headed by retired Justice B.N. Srikrishna.

It was alleged that a company related to Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested ₹64 crore in NuPower in 2010 and later, the proprietorship of the company was transferred to a trust owned by Mr. Kochhar for ₹9 lakh after the Videocon Group received a loan of ₹3250 crore from ICICI Bank in 2012.

Then, in April, Kochhar is reportedly accused of not disclosing that her brother-in-law, Rajiv Kochhar, had helped ICICI Bank's debtors restructure their foreign loans.

Kochhar was on the credit committee that approved the loan to Videocon.

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