Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma to step down by end of 2018

Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma to step down by end of 2018

"As Axis Bank goes for a change in leadership, there are grounds to rebuild credibility and regain currency with regulators and other stakeholders, which augurs well for the bank". Known for her calm and composed disposition, Sharma is not new to tough times. As an acknowledgment of her efforts, Harvard Business School published a case study on Managing Change at Axis Bank in 2013.

Her first day in office was at the bank's 15th annual general meeting (AGM) in Ahmedabad.

Sharma, now serving her third-term at the helm of the bank, took charge in 2009.

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Analysts said the choice of Sharma's successor will be crucial to the bank, though they pointed out the development could lead to certain short-term pressures. "We don't want banking to add to that complexity", Sharma had said. The bank had earlier reported gross NPAs of Rs 1,173 crore at the end of December 2009 but it has now skyrocketed to Rs 25,001' crore at the end of December 2017. Axis Bank, along with other leading banks, disclosed such divergences for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 earnings. The net NPAs were at 2.31 per cent in 2016-17.

He pegs the core profit after tax (PAT) in Q4FY18 at Rs 4,906 million, a fall of 60 per cent over the previous corresponding period, and 33.5 per cent lower quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) basis.

Bad loans are not the only problem for Axis Bank. It stood at Rs 726 crore in the December 2017 quarter, according to an ET report. Axis Bank shares have risen too over the last month. So much that Axis Bank had to issue a statement denying the rumours. During her stint with the company, she was instrumental in setting up ICICI Securities.

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The proposed three-year term of Shikha Sharma as managing director & CEO of Axis Bank has been cut to just seven months following the Reserve Bank of India's directive to the board to reconsider her three-year term. Sharma's third term would end on May 31.

Shares of Axis Bank today surged over 5 per cent, adding Rs 7,212 crore to its market valuation, a day after its CEO and Managing Director Shikha Sharma's tenure was shortened. But when the baton was passed to Chanda Kochhar, who is also in the eye of storm, Sharma left the ICICI Group to join Axis Bank.

Axis Bank gave no reason for Sharma cutting short her term and a bank spokesman declined to comment when asked if the decision was connected with the recent media reports.

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