ICICI benches Chanda, at last


ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI BankReuters

"During her period of leave, the COO will report to the board", the statement noted.

"In an email sent to board members last week, MK Sharma, chairman of the bank's board, had asked board members if they agreed Kochhar should go on indefinite leave until the ICICI Bank-constituted enquiry is completed, to ensure a fair outcome", a person aware of the developments told Mirror. "Since the events are already recorded and possibly can not be altered, requesting Kochhar to proceed on leave at this point in time may send the wrong signal to stakeholders, especially after the board had showed full confidence and faith in her when the issue first broke out", the report quoted one of the board members as saying.

2016: Arvind Gupta, a whistleblower, writes to prime minister Narendra Modi and finance minster Arun Jaitley alleging nepotism by Kochhar in the loan extended to NuPower Renewables.

In other news, ICICI Bank Board also recommended to the Board of Directors of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company to appoint NS Kannan as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the company subject to regulatory and other approvals. Aggressive consortium loans, often initiated by non-state-owned banks like ICICI and Standard Chartered Plc, have drawn undercapitalized state-run peers with poor underwriting standards into a $210 billion slaughterhouse of stressed debt. Kochhar will continue with her role as MD and CEO.

Kochhar had until recently enjoyed full support of the board, but following a fresh anonymous allegation complaint against Kochhar from a whistleblower - the second such person to do so - the board made a decision to investigate into the allegations of a quid pro quo against Kochhar. Bakhshi now CEO-designate will take over as COO on June 19 after receiving regulatory and other approvals from the Bank authorities.

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On April 05, the government changes its nominee on ICICI Bank's board. "This decision will not help the bank".

Besides, guilty or not, which employee gets such a long runway from her employer after it becomes clear her exit will be a value-unlocking opportunity for shareholders?

June 2018: Kochhar goes on her annual planned leave from June 01.

Before joining ICICI Prudential in 2010, Bakhshi was deputy managing director of the bank and oversaw its retail operations.

But why should she? He is widely speculated to take over as the next MD and CEO of ICICI Bank as Chanda Kochhar's term is coming to an end in March 2019.

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