HDFC Bank Finalises Three Possible Successors To Aditya Puri
Aditya Puri, MD and CEO of HDFC Bank Ltd. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

HDFC Bank Finalises Three Possible Successors To Aditya Puri

HDFC Bank Ltd., in a board meeting today, finalised on a list of three possible successors to long-time Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Aditya Puri.

In a notification to the stock exchanges, India’s largest private sector bank said it would submit its application to the Reserve Bank of India with the names of the candidates in order of preference. This is to comply with an earlier directive from the central bank requiring HDFC Bank to submit its list of possible successors at least four months before Puri’s retirement.

“On receipt of RBI approval, the Bank shall duly make the requisite disclosures pursuant the Regulations.” - HDFC Bank Statement

BloombergQuint learns the likely top contenders are two bank insiders, Sashidhar Jagdishan and Kaizad Bharucha, and Sunil Garg, global head of Citi Commercial Bank. HDFC Bank did not comment on this.

Aditya Puri, MD and CEO of HDFC Bank. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
Aditya Puri, MD and CEO of HDFC Bank. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Having joined the bank at its inception as managing director in 1994, Puri is the longest serving chief of a private bank in India. He is set to retire on Oct. 26, 2020 after over 40 years of work in the banking sector.

The finalisation of a list of successors to Puri comes a little over a week after the RBI asked the bank to reconsider two key appointments to its board. Sashidhar Jagdishan, earlier the chief financial officer and then ‘change agent’, was to be made additional director, while Bhavesh Zaveri, country head of operations, would have become executive director (whole-time director).

In a statement on Apr. 8, the bank said it “has received communication from RBI stating that since these are important positions in the bank, the bank is advised to examine and submit the proposal after a new MD and CEO assumes charge later this year.”

The bank had constituted a six-member search committee in November 2019 that included HDFC Bank Chairman Shyamala Gopinath, Sanjiv Sachar, MD Ranganath, Sandeep Parekh, Srikanth Nadhamuni and HDFC Vice Chairman Keki Mistry. Mistry was later replaced by his colleague and Joint Managing Director Renu Karnad.

The committee was assisted by international headhunting firm Egon Zehnder. Puri acted as an adviser to the search committee.

At the bank’s annual general meeting in 2019, Puri had said that his replacement should be better than him and should not require 18 months of handholding for the job.

“If my replacement wants to be mentored for 1 year, I don’t want that replacement. At best we want someone who needs 15 days to catch up.”

Also read: Q4 Earnings: HDFC Bank’s Net Profit Rises, So Do Provisions

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