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. N.S. Kannan, the bank's chief financial officer under Kochhar, is being airlifted to the group's life-insurance venture whose CEO is being parachuted into the mothership to help steady it. "Without second-guessing the ICICI Bank board, we wonder under what circumstances the three-tier structure at the bank might be collapsed to two, as a COO role strikes us as unnecessary in the long term", said Jefferies in a report on ICICI Bank. All the executive directors of the bank and its executive management would report to Bakhshi. Kochhar returns, Mr. Bakhshi will report to her.
The bank said Bakhshi would be responsible for handling all the businesses and corporate centre functions. He will take charge as the COO on June 19 for a five-year term. Reportedly, the private lender named Sandeep Bakhshi as its chief operating officer for the next 5 years.
Kochhar, 56, who has been CEO of ICICI Bank, India's third-biggest lender by assets, since May 2009, has faced allegations of favouring Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas exploration company, in the bank's lending practices. It was alleged that she did not disclose business dealings of her husband Deepak Kochhar with the Dhoots of Videocon. The ICICI Bank's share price, which had gained 3.6 per cent on Monday, declined by Rs 1.6 to Rs 291 on Tuesday. However, during the period of her leave, he will report to the board. Removing Kochhar barely months after going out on a limb in her defence would make directors vulnerable to legal attacks from the bank's American depositary receipt holders. The Videocon promoter allegedly loaned Kochhar Rs 64 crore through his company Supreme Energy and then transferred its ownership to Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh.
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 this role, he headed the retail and subsequently the wholesale business at the bank. It's unclear what led to this move, but questions are raised on the board's hasty decision to clear Kochhar of all charges without a probe.