Exit of CEO Kochhar sought by US Investors of ICICI Bank

In a Macquarie Research report dated the 20th of June, 2018, investors in ICICI bank from the US wanted to have CEO Chanda Kochhar leave the bank, as well as seeing the board of directors of the bank “completely overhauled”. Following an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) into potential conflict-of-interest by Kochhar in what is now dubbed the “Videocon loan case”, it was noted that American investors had no faith in the bank’s ability to function as a professional financial institution, citing the manner in which the board has dealt with this issue as a “bureaucratic style of decision-making”.


These investors also questioned the board’s decision to keep Kochhar continuing on as CEO, as well as having identified internal candidates to oversee this crisis in the interim period, such as appointing Sandeep Bakshi as COO of the bank, and its interim leader. Other moves that seemed to irk the overseas investors were the fact that the board seemed to backtrack on its own actions, first declaring that the CEO had been placed on a mandatory leave of absence until the issue had reached some kind of verdict and resolution, and then claiming that she had gone on annual leave as planned and intimated to them prior to the issuing of notice by Sebi. It is believed that fresh blood from outside of this hierarchy will help pave the way for the continued success of the bank, as among other things, even Goldman Sachs has downgraded ICICI bank stock in light of the ongoing investigation into the CEO’s actions.

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