Chanda Kochhar Resigns As Chairperson Of The Biggest Private Bank Of Country

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New Delhi: The 56-year-old Chanda Kochhar, who rose to occupy the corner office at the largest private sector lender, was mired by controversy and allegations of conflicts of interest, lack of disclosures and quid pro-quo while extending loans to the now bankrupt Videocon Industries. She, in fact, was the first woman to head a large lender in the country.

In mid-February, a lobby group chose Chanda Kochhar, the then head of ICICI Bank, for an interactive session with the visiting Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. A little over a month later, the toast of the town was battling allegations of impropriety that led to a multi-agency probe and an eventual forced leave-of-absence.

Kochhar, a favourite of the then group chairman KV Kamath, joined ICICI, an infrastructure lender in its earlier avatar, as a management trainee in 1984 and rose to play an important part in its transformation into a retail-focused lender and when it turned into a commercial bank in the early 1990s.

After the exit of the larger-than-life KV Kamath, she was chosen in 2009 to succeed the illustrious leader as the managing director and chief executive despite a strong leadership bench. Her elevation also led to the exit of Shikha Sharma (Axis Bank chief), who was senior to her in ranking from the group. Before her elevation to the corner office, she was a key member of the bank’s setting up, oversaw the retail business and was also chief financial officer.

She consolidated activities at ICICI Bank, the only domestic lender to be impacted in the post-Lehman crisis, and ensured it speaks little and it is only her who does the talking all the time.

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