Chanda Kochhar resigns as ICICI CEO, Sandeep Bakhshi to take over

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ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar Thursday resigned from the post. The board, in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, said it accepted her request to obtain early retirement with immediate effect.

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

The Board said that it had decided to appoint Sandeep Bakhshi as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer. His appointment will be for a period of five years until October 3, 2023, subject to regulatory and other approvals. The other terms and conditions of his appointment, such as remuneration, would remain unchanged, the filing said.

Kochhar is currently on leave after ICICI Bank decided to probe allegations of conflict of interest and quid pro quo against her while dealing with certain customers/borrowers of the bank including the Videocon Group. An independent investigation by a panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice BN Srikrishna is looking into allegations against Kochhar.

As first reported by The Indian Express on March 29, Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), a firm he had set up with Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. He transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh, six months after he received the loan from ICICI Bank.

Almost 86 per cent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan (Rs 2,810 crore) remains unpaid. The Videocon account was declared an NPA in 2017. The bank also said that due to health reasons MD Mallya, an Independent Director has resigned from its board.

Income Tax authorities are also probing the acquisition of a flat in Mumbai where the Kochhars currently reside.


Chanda Kochhar’s rise to ICICI Bank CEO

Kochhar is widely recognised for her role in shaping the retail banking sector in India. She joined ICICI Limited in 1984 and was instrumental in establishing ICICI Bank during the 1990s. She served as head of infrastructure finance and corporate banking business during the period.During 2006-07, Kochhar led the Bank’s corporate and international banking businesses. Between 2007 and 2009, she was elevated to the position of Joint Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the company. In 2009, she became Managing Director and CEO of the company. She oversees the Bank’s operations in India and abroad. She also chairs the boards of most of the Bank’s principal subsidiaries.

Kochhar was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2011.

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