Axis Bank recommends three candidates to succeed CEO Shikha Sharma

Shikha Sharma stepped down amidst RBI raising questions over her re-appointment
Private sector lender Axis Bank recommended the names of three candidates to succeed Shikha Sharma, current managing director (MD) and chief executive (CEO), to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Sharma’s fourth term in the position expires on December 31, 2018.

“In terms of extant RBI norms and the Succession Planning Process of the Bank, the Board of Directors of the Bank at its meeting held on 9th July 2018, has recommended the names of three candidates, in order of preference, for the approval of the RBI , “said the bank in a filing to the exchanges on Tuesday.

The bank said that it would make required disclosures regarding the same on receipt of RBI approval.

In April this year, the bank announced that Sharma requested the board to reconsider the period of her re-appointment to be revised from June 1, 2018 up to December 31, 2018. The bank had shortly thereafter announced that it has appointed Egon Zehnder, a global leadership advisory firm, to find Sharma’s successor.

In December last year, the bank board had decided to reappoint Sharma as the Managing Director and CEO, for a period of three years with effect from June 1, 2018. Her original tenure would have expired on June 2021. The re-appointment, however, was yet to get the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Sharma stepped down amidst RBI raising questions over her re-appointment despite the rising  non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans and governance issues like inquiries into earning leaks over Whatsapp. Sharma had offered stay on till December, 2018 to ensure smooth transition and support  new leadership.

Senior executives of the bank – namely Sidharth Rath, head of corporate and transaction banking, and V. Srinivasan were reported to have resigned in March. The bank had asked another senior executive, then Chief Information Officer Amit Sethi  to resign in Feburary,

Another private sector lender ICICI Bank is also grappling with management shuffling with Chanda Koccha, its MD & CEO, going on indefinite leave till the completion of inquiry into conflict on interest allegations against her. The bank also appointed ICICI group veteran Sandeep Bakhshi as its interim head in the role of chief operating officer.

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