The reshuffle at ICICI after Kamath’s exit hasn’t gone down well with the other two top candidates
When the legendary former GE Chief Jack Welch declared Jeffrey Immelt as his successor, fellow contenders Jim McNerny and Bob Nardelli quit immediately, and had job offers within ten minutes of resigning. A slightly different, slow-mo version of the story seems to be taking place at the country’s biggest private bank, ICICI Bank.
CEO KV Kamath’s 38-year-stint at the financier-turned-universal bank comes to a close at the end of April, and Chanda Kochhar, currently joint MD, is the CEO designate. The decision hasn’t gone down well with the other two top candidates. Renuka Ramnath, an influential investment banker and CEO of ICICI Ventures, is reported to have resigned, but hasn’t made her next move public yet. Banking circles in Mumbai are rife with rumours that she’s headed for the Indian arm of one of the biggest MNC banks.
On the other hand, another private player Axis Bank has bagged Shikha Sharma, CEO of the life insurance and asset management firm ICICI Prudential, much to the chagrin of the Axis’ outgoing chief and turnaround artist, PJ Nayak, who wanted to nominate his own successor. A complete top management reshuffle is the last thing ICICI Bank could have hoped for when it has just ended a financial year it would rather forget.