Sandeep Bakhshi was appointed as ICICI Bank’s Wholetime Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) designate on Monday, following a board of directors meeting in Mumbai. Bakhshi was serving as MD and CEO of the bank’s insurance subsidiary, ICICI Prudential Life, before his appointment.
He will be overseeing the bank’s operations till an independent probe against MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar is completed. Kochhar is facing allegations of quid pro quo and non-adherence of code of conduct and conflict of interest. Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry, a statement by 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 the COO from June 19, or on the date of regulatory and other approvals, whichever is later, it said. He is widely speculated to take over as the next MD and CEO of ICICI Bank as Chanda Kochhar’s term is coming to an end in March 2019.
Bakhshi is a mechanical engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh and also has a management degree from Jamshedpur’s Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI). He began his career at ICICI in 1986. Before joining ICICI Lombard in 2002, he looked after corporate clients for the bank’s Northern and Eastern regions. Business development, project appraisals, project monitoring and business re-structuring were among his key work responsibilities. He has been serving as the Managing Director & CEO of ICIC Prudential Life Insurance Company since 2010. Bakhshi also served as Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank and MD & CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
Meanwhile, ICICI Bank board also recommended to the board of directors of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company to appoint N S Kannan as Managing Director & CEO of the company subject to regulatory and other approvals. Kannan is now Executive Director of ICICI Bank.