ICICI Bank appoints Sandeep Bakhshi as COO, Chanda Kochhar goes on leave

Chanda Kochhar, Sandeep Bakhshi
The board of ICICI Bank has appointed Sandeep Bakhshi whole-time director and chief operating officer (COO) to run the affairs of the private lender. Chanda Kochhar, managing director (MD) & chief executive officer (CEO) will be on leave, pending the probe.

The changes come amid allegations of a quid pro quo in transactions between Videocon Industries, Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar’s company NuPower Renewables.

The bank board has appointed former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna to probe allegations of conflict of interest against Kochhar. He will be aided by a number of internal and external ‘experts’ to complete the investigation. The bank said Bakhshi’s appointment as COO will be for a period of five years, subject to regulatory approvals. 

He will take over as COO on June 19 or on the date of regulatory and other approvals, whichever is later, the bank said in a filing with the BSE.

He will be responsible for handling all the businesses and corporate centre functions at the bank. All executive directors on the board of ICICI Bank and the executive management will report to him. Bakhshi will report to Chanda Kochhar, who will continue in her role as MD & CEO. Bakhshi is at present MD & CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company.

Kochhar has decided to stay on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018, the bank said. During her period of leave, the COO will report to the board.

Prior to moving to the life insurance arm, Bakhshi was deputy MD of ICICI Bank. He looked after the corporate clients in the northern and eastern regions of ICICI Limited before joining ICICI Lombard in 2002. ICICI Bank board also recommended to the board of directors of ICICI Prudential Life 

Insurance Company to appoint N S Kannan as MD & CEO of the life insurer, subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Know the new COO

SANDEEP BAKHSHI, a veteran of ICICI Bank, has served for 32 years in various positions across the group, starting with his role in the development financial institution, ICICI Limited. The 57-year-old joined the corporate banking department of ICICI in 1986, where he worked on project finance, business development, project appraisals, project monitoring and business restructuring. In 2002, he led a team to set up the group’s general insurance arm, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company. He also served as deputy managing director and head of retail at ICICI Bank from 2009 to 2010, before being appointed CEO & MD of ICICI Prudential Life in 2010. ICICI Pru Life was the first private insurance company to go public in 2016.

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