Axis Bank engages Egon Zehnder to find Shikha Sharma’s successor
The Axis Bank board has engaged executive search firm Egon Zehnder to find the next MD & CEO of Axis Bank after incumbent MD Shikha Sharma’s tenure ends in December.
As per an ET report, the quest could also involve the head-hunting firm looking for overseas candidates. The succession process is likely to be completed before the end of Mrs. Shikha Sharma’s tenure.
Shikha Sharma’s term came to an abrupt end earlier this month after she informed the board that she will not continue on her post after December. Sharma’s third three-year term was coming to a close on June 30, 2018, and the board had approved another three-year extension last year.
However, the banking veteran decided to shorten working tenure till December 2018 amidst concerns raised by the Reserve Bank of India about her fourth term. Earlier this month, RBI wrote to the board of Axis Bank asking to reconsider their decision of giving the fourth term to Sharma as MD & CEO raising worries over rising bad loans in the country.
However, the central bank declined to approve the board’s proposal for an extension likely because it was not happy with the increase in the bank’s non-performing assets (NPAs). Axis Bank’s NPAs quadrupled in the past three years to reach to INR 25,001 Crore at the end of December 2017.
Meanwhile candidates in the fray for the post include names like Deputy Managing Director V Srinivsan, CFO Jairam Sridharan, Executive Director, Retail Rajeev Anand along with a clutch of bankers outside the bank. These include DCB Bank CEO Murali Natarajan, former ICICI executive and head of Asia for Westpac Balaji Swaminathan and Citibank India CEO Pramit Jhaveri.