Sandeep Bakhshi, New COO ICICI Bank Appointed As Kochhar On Leave

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New Delhi: Private sector banking major ICICI Bank on Monday appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as the new Whole-time Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The appointment comes at a time when the company’s MD and CEO, Chanda Kochhar, will be on leave till enquiry into the ICICI-Videocon loan case is completed.

Bakhshi’s appointment as COO will be for a period of five years, subject to regulatory approvals. He will take over as the COO from Tuesday, or on the date of regulatory and other approvals, whichever is later, read a statement.

Sandeep will be responsible for handling all the businesses and corporate centre functions at the bank and will report to Kochhar. A Mechanical Engineer and a post-graduate in management, Bakhshi was earlier the Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, since August 2010.

Meanwhile, the bank’s executive director N.S. Kannan will serve as the chief executive of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, subject to regulatory approvals.

“In line with the highest levels of governance and corporate standards, Chanda Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018. The Board has noted and accepted this. During her period of leave, the COO will report to the Board,” the statement read.

Kochhar has been accused of misusing her position in the company after she allegedly provided a Rs. 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon group on quid pro quo basis in 2012.
Venugopal Dhoot , the Chairman of Videocon Group, had business links with Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar.

The IT department in the first week of April had sent a notice to Deepak Kochhar’s company NuPower Renewables. Thereafter, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) called in a number of officials for questioning in the aforementioned case, including Umanath Venkat Naik, the director of NuPower Renewables, the former director of NuPower Renewables, Mahesh Pugalia, and Rajeev Kochhar, brother-in-law of Chanda Kochhar.

Earlier this month, whistle-blower Arvind Gupta, who exposed the alleged Videocon loan fraud, levelled fresh allegations of quid pro quo on Kochhar in a second letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gupta earlier said: “ICICI bank looks like a one-person show. Out of the nine committees they have, Chanda Kochhar is present on six of them. Their work culture needs to be examined.”

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