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Amitabh Chaudhry to take charge as Axis Bank MD and CEO from January 1

PTI     September 9, 2018

The country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank Saturday appointed Amitabh Chaudhry as Managing Director and CEO from January 1, after incumbent Shikha Sharma steps down at the end of this year.

Chaudhry, who resigned from the post of MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company on Saturday, has been appointed as MD and CEO for a period of 3 years, with effect from January 1, 2019 up to December 31, 2021.

"The Board of Directors of the bank at its meeting held today has taken on record the approval granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the appointment of Amitabh Chaudhry as the Managing Director and CEO of the Bank, for a period of 3 years, with effect from 1st January 2019 up to 31st December 2021 (both days inclusive)," Axis Bank said in a regulatory filing.

Chaudhry will take over from Shikha Sharma after she demits office on December 31, 2018. The bank had selected three candidates to succeed Sharma at its board meeting held in July and had recommended their names for the approval of RBI.

"I would like to thank the RBI and the Axis Bank Board for the privilege and honour given to me to lead this great institution. Axis Bank is amongst the leading private sector banks in the country. Together, with the support of the Board and the Axis team, I am confident of continuing the bank's remarkable journey these past 25 years and to contribute to its future growth," Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry, 54 years, has been associated with HDFC Life since January 2010. He has been associated with HDFC Life since January 2010. Chaudhry started his career in the Corporate Banking with Bank of America in 1987, where he worked in diverse roles. Chaudhry is a B. Tech in (Electronic and Electricals) from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani and is an alumnus of lndian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

In July 2017, the board of Axis Bank had approved re-appointment of Sharma, to be her fourth term as MD and CEO begun from June 2018. However in April this year, Sharma had wanted her new term to be reduced to seven months from a three-year tenure without citing reasons, which was accepted by the board of Axis Bank subsequently.

It was learnt that the RBI had asked Axis Bank's board to reconsider the decision to re-appoint Sharma as its CEO for the fourth term amid concerns over rising bad loans on the bank's books. She had completed her third term as the bank's head on May 31.

"I have spent over nine years with the bank and I shall always look back at my journey with a deep sense of satisfaction and pride. I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Axis team in leveraging the myriad opportunities in the financial sector over the last decade. I am sure that under the leadership of Amitabh the bank would soar to greater heights," Sharma said on Chaudhry's appointment.

Axis Bank Chairman Sanjiv Misra said, "After an extensive search, my fellow directors and I are pleased to welcome Amitabh as the Bank's MD and CEO. Amitabh has a proven track record and is well-equipped to lead Axis Bank in pursuing its growth ambitions balanced with a strong management."

Meanwhile, HDFC Standard Life informed bourses that Chaudhry has tendered his resignation. Its board will meet on September 12 to consider appointment of new MD and CEO, the insurer said.

Axis Bank reported a 46 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 701.09 crore for the April-June quarter of the current fiscal due to increase in provisioning for bad loans. The bank had registered a net profit of Rs 1,306 crore in the June quarter of 2017-18. The bank's asset quality worsened as gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 6.52 per cent as on June 30 this year, from 5.03 per cent on June 30, 2017. In absolute terms, gross NPAs rose at Rs 32,662.40 crore as on June 30, 2018 compared to Rs 22,030.87 crore a year earlier.

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