HDFC Bank Launches Global Search For CEO Aditya Puri’s Successor
HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri’s salary increased 41 percent in FY19 to Rs 13.67 crore, the bank’s annual report for the fiscal showed. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

HDFC Bank Launches Global Search For CEO Aditya Puri’s Successor

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HDFC Bank Ltd. has started a global search to find a successor to founder chief executive Aditya Puri, who retires in October 2020.

“The nomination and remuneration committee of the board will constitute a search committee to undertake a global search of both internal and external candidates,” HDFC Bank said in its annual report for 2018-19.

Puri turns 70 next year and has been instrumental in getting HDFC Bank to its current stature as one of the most valued banks globally in terms of price to earnings ratio. There are reports that Puri, an ex-Citibank eployee, may continue as the non-executive chairman after retirement.

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Meanwhile, Aditya Puri's total salary grew 41 percent to Rs 13.67 crore in 2018-19 from a year ago. HDFC Bank’s annual report for 2018-19 showed his salary grew to Rs 10.73 crore from Rs 7.26 crore in the previous fiscal, while the value of his perquisites grew to Rs 2.26 crore from Rs 1.82 crore. Stock options exercised by Puri amounted to Rs 42.20 crore as against Rs 31.41 crore.

Puri’s long-time colleague and deputy managing director Paresh Sukthankar, who left office last November in a hurry citing “personal reasons”, drew a salary of Rs 6.33 crore during the year as against Rs 5.30 crore in FY18. Sukthankar exercised Rs 137.46 crore worth of stock options during the year, up from Rs 20.60 crore.

However, the median remuneration increase per employee of the bank stood at 10.31 percent, which is marginally down from 11.17 percent in the previous fiscal.

There was a big jump in HDFC Bank’s overall employee base to 98,061 in the year, up from 88,253. It can be noted that the lender made headlines a few years ago for a decline in staffing as it adopted more and more technology.

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Puri’s salary was 248 times higher than the average employee salary in FY19, which is a jump from FY18, when his salary was 209 times higher.

HDFC Bank chairman Shyamala Gopinath said FY19 was a “challenging” year for the economy but said the bank is “well poised” to tap the opportunities of what is still an under-penetrated market by leveraging its strong balance-sheet and retail franchise. The bank will focus on customer focus, operational excellence, product leadership, people and sustainability, she added.

Following the Reserve Bank of India's order asking its regulated entities not to engage with SR Batliboi & Co. as statutory auditors, the bank has appointed MSKA Associates as its statutory auditors for three fiscals starting FY20.

On Tuesday, HDFC Bank shares rose 0.28 percent up to Rs 2,449.35 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.42 percent to end the day at 39,950.46 points.

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