New Delhi: Facing enquiry over charges of conflict of interest, ICICI Bank managing director and CEO Chanda Kochhar today quit the bank. India’s third largest lender by assets, ICICI Bank Ltd, has appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as chief executive for a term of five years, replacing Chanda Kochhar, who sought early retirement, the bank said today.
Chanda Kochhar quits as CEO of ICICI Bank, Sandeep Bakhshi to take over
The former head of the bank’s life insurance arm, Bakhshi took the helm on an interim basis in June, when Kochhar went on leave during an inquiry into an alleged conflict of interest that triggered months of controversy.
“The enquiry instituted by the board will remain unaffected by this and certain benefits will be subject to the outcome,” the bank said in a statement after a board meeting.
Kochhar, 56, who had headed ICICI Bank since May 2009, is also stepping down from the board of directors of its units, the bank added.
Bakhshi will lead ICICI for five years, subject to regulatory approval, while other conditions of his appointment remain unchanged, the bank said.
ICICI shares rose as much as 5.8 percent on the news.
Kochhar was on an absence of leave from office, pending an investigation into allegations of her having favoured family members in lieu of providing loans to a corporate house. In June, a panel was set up under retired Supreme Court judge Justice Srikrishna to probe allegations against Chanda Kochhar.
Here is what ICICI Bank said in a communication to BSE:
“The Board of Directors of ICICI Bank Limited accepted the request of Ms Chanda Kochhar to seek early retirement from the Bank at the earliest. The Board accepted this request 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 Board decided to appoint Mr. 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. Separately, due to health reasons Mr MD Mallya, Independent Director, resigned from the Board and the same was accepted.”