Shikha Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Axis Bank. (Photo: BloombergQuint)

Axis Bank Starts Succession Process To Replace CEO Shikha Sharma

Axis Bank Ltd. has started the succession process to appoint a new managing director and chief executive officer to replace Shikha Sharma when she steps down at the end a shortened second term in December this year.

The board has roped in global leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder to evaluate candidates for the post, the private sector lender said in an exchange filing today. Axis Bank is looking to find Sharma’s replacement before the end of her term. “This will help facilitate the smooth transition of leadership responsibilities at the bank,” the filing added.

This comes after Sharma appealed to the board to cut short her reappointment period to the end of December this year from July 2021, that had been agreed upon previously. In July 2017, well ahead of the end of her current term, the board had reappointed Sharma for three years starting June 1, 2018.

The Axis Bank board accepted Sharma’s request to exit, as she was being offered a better remuneration in a role outside the bank, BloombergQuint reported earlier, quoting a senior official aware of the matter. The board convinced her to stay on at first, but gave in later by asking her to stay till a replacement was found.

In her eight years at the bank, from 2009 to 2017, Sharma pushed growth at the bank. That, however, came at the cost of deteriorating asset quality. The bank’s advances rose from Rs 81,557 crore in March 2009 to Rs 3.73 lakh crore as of March 2017. This against the backdrop of bad loans ratio climbing to 5.04 percent in year-ended March 2017 from 0.96 percent in financial year 2009.