Chanda Kochhar quits, Sandeep Bakshi new CEO of ICICI Bank

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New Delhi: Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank managing director and CEO today resigned from her post, six months before her current tenure was to end following charges of nepotism and conflict of interest.

Kochhar, 57, has also resigned from all subsidiaries of the bank including ICICI Securities where she had sought reappointment as the chairperson.

The board elevated Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sandeep Bakhshi as the new managing director and CEO for five years until October 3, 2023, ICICI Bank said in a statement.

The bank further said that the external enquiry instituted by the board against Kochhar in May will continue and the benefits to her would be subject to the outcome of the probe.

Following the board’s decision to institute an enquiry by retired Supreme Court Justice B N Srikrishna, Kochhar went on leave in May. There are allegations of involvement of Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to Videocon group on a quid pro quo basis.

“The enquiry instituted by the Board (against Kochhar) will remain unaffected by this and certain benefits will be subject to the outcome of the enquiry. Kochhar will also relinquish office from the Board of Directors of the Bank’s subsidiaries,” the statement said.

“The Board of Directors of ICICI Bank accepted the request of Chanda Kochhar to seek early retirement from the Bank at the earliest,” it said.

Kochhar’s current five-year tenure as CEO was to end on March 31, 2019. After Kochhar went on leave, ICICI Bank appointed Bakhshi, who was MD and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, as the chief operating officer of the bank with effect from June 19. Bakhshi has now been elevated as managing director and CEO.

Bakhshi, a Mechanical Engineer from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, 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 restructuring.

Meanwhile, independent director M D Mallya too resigned from the board for health reasons. Shares of ICICI Bank closed at Rs 315.55, up 3.94 per cent on the BSE even as the benchmark index Sensex plunged by more than 2 per cent.

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