India's biggest private lender HDFC Bank is closing in on its search for the current Chief Executive Aditya Puri's successor. Puri is set to retire in October. Top three contenders for the post include Sashidhar Jagdishan, Kaizad Bharucha and Sunil Garg. While both Jagdishan and Bharucha are executive directors at the bank, Garg heads Citi Commercial Bank. The bank's board members could discuss these names during their meeting on April 18. The lender plans to finalise the name soon before it's sent for final approval to the Reserve Bank of India.
The reason behind HDFC's decision to hurry the CEO appointment process may be the RBI's recent directive to fill its important board positions only post the joining of the new CEO. HDFC Bank on November 28, 2019, had intimated the apex bank about the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan and Bhavesh Zaveri as additional director and executive director (whole-time director) but the RBI directed the bank to first appoint its new CEO.
HDFC Bank said it would accordingly ensure compliance with the Reserve Bank's instruction, and Jagdishan and Zaveri would continue as additional directors on its board till the ensuing Annual General Meeting. The agency that has reportedly finalised these names is global executive search firm Egon Zehnder. HDFC Bank had earlier roped it in to identify its successor.
HDFC Bank last year had constituted a six-member search committee to replace Puri. Aditya Puri had hinted that his successor could also be an outsider. As reported by BusinessToday.In earlier, Puri wants a proper evaluation of the candidates, as the challenges bank is facing now, especially from digital banking and new models in the rural market, will require a new strategy.
The HDFC Bank boss has been at the helm of the bank since its inception in 1994, making him the longest-serving chief executive of any private-sector bank in the country. He has over 40 years of experience in the banking sector in India and abroad, and is credited with building India's biggest bank in terms of market valuation from scratch.
The HDFC Bank stock has been trading 0.7 per cent higher at Rs 870.80 on the National Stock Exchange, while 0.9 per cent up at Rs 871.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.