The top-level management at ICICI Bank is seeing major re-shuffle after the Bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar “decided to go on leave until the completion of inquiry”. While Miss Kochhar is gone, the board of directors at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company appointed N.S. Kannan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank on Tuesday.
ICICI Bank’s boss, Chanda Kochhar left the building as she “is on leave” until the inquiries to investigate allegations of conflicts of interest are levelled against her for a loan to Videocon Group since April. Besides this, Kochchar’s husband and brother-in-law received an alleged quid pro quo in return for loans made by ICICI – landing the ICICI boss in such a controversy that everyone was hoping the bank would give her the red card. Now that Khochhar is gone, the bank directors has appointed Chanda Kochhar’s closest confidant N S Kannan is appointed as the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank “subject to regulatory and other approvals”.
Kannan, who was the bank’s chief financial officer, is a gold medallist from IIM Bangalore, is known for a man of his discipline and meticulous groundwork. He has also worked as a chartered financial analyst for the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, before he joined ICICI. The banker started his career with ICICI bank 27 years ago as a project officer – and has been the executive director of the bank since 2009. Kannan has also worked on multiple tasks for the bank, including legal, corporate communications, risk management, strategic solutions, compliance and internal audit functions, and with intensive experience, he is expected to help ICICI bank stabilise.
Alongside the appointment of new boss, 57-year-old Sandeep Bakhshi, who was the CEO of ICICI’s Insurance wing, was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of ICICI on Monday. Bakhshi, who is known as someone who foresees and respects risks – a quality that has been found lacking in ICICI’s employees, will ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated at the top level of the bank. It is a fresh start for ICICI and the new CEO and the new COO will not need to play around the fiction to go back to the obedient number twos, when Kochhar returns – if ever.