HDFC Life’s Amitabh Chaudhry to Head Axis Bank

Chaudhry, who will be succeeding Shikha Sharma, will be appointed for a period of three years, effective 1 January.

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Amitabh Chaudhry (Left) and Shikha Sharma (right).
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Amitabh Chaudhry has received the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to be appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer at Axis Bank.

Chaudhry, who will be succeeding Shikha Sharma, will be appointed for a period of three years, effective 1 January, the bank informed the bourses on Saturday, 8 September.

Sharma will remit her position on 31 December.

Till now, Chaudhry, 54, has acted as the MD & CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd. He has resigned from his position at HDFC Standard Life with immediate effect. He has worked with the insurance company since 2010.

Axis Bank saw some issues with the top management office after the RBI had reportedly turned down the proposal to extend Sharma’s term for three years, earlier this year.

She had received an approval from the bank’s board in July 2017 to continue as the MD & CEO till June, 2021.

However, after the central bank asked the board to reconsider her reappointment, Shikha announced that she will leave the bank at the end of this year.

Under Sharma's nine year tenure, Axis Bank had taken many bets on the infrastructure sector, which did not pay off. Further, the asset quality review (AQR) conducted by the RBI in October 2015 added to the bank's woes as it had to declare a significant portion of its corporate lending book as bad loans.

The bank's gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio worsened to 6.77 percent as on March 31, 2018. The ratio improved to 6.52 percent by June.

(This story was originally published on BloombergQuint)

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