ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar to be on forced leave till conclusion of Videocon Probe report

ICICI Bank’s Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar would go on leave until the internal inquiry into charges of favouritism and impropriety is concluded. In its replacement, Sandeep Bakshi, group’s life insurance head will be carrying out the functions.
Bakhshi, who currently heads ICICI’s life insurance arm, will take up a newly created position of the chief operating officer at the bank for a five-year term beginning today, pending regulatory approvals, the bank said in a statement late on Monday.
Kochhar, 56, who has been CEO of ICICI Bank, India’s third-biggest lender by assets, since May 2009, has faced allegations of favoring Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas Exploration Company, in the bank’s lending practices. Videocon’s founders had an investment in a renewable energy company founded by Kochhar’s husband, Deepak Kochhar.
ICICI Bank’s board, which had initially backed Kochhar calling the alleged nepotism charges against her “malicious and unfounded”, last month said it would institute a probe headed by an independent person into allegations raised by an anonymous whistleblower.
“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,” the bank said.
The ICICI Bank board had come out in support of Chanda Kochhar on March 28, quashing allegations of a quid pro quo and favouritism in giving a loan to the Videocon group, which, in turn, had invested in Chanda’s husband Deepak Kochhar’s company NuPower Renewables.

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