ICICI Bank: Restoring Faith in Corporate Governance
In March 2016, the chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICI), one of the largest private sector banks in India, was accused of non-disclosure and exploitation of conflict of interest by an investor. The CEO, who had successfully led the bank since 2009, had been featured in two Forbes lists of the most powerful women in 2017. Initially, the ICICI board of directors supported the CEO for two years, until March 2018, when Indian regulatory agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation opened investigations. In January 2019, following the findings of an internal investigation report by ICICI, the newly appointed chairman of the ICICI board terminated the CEO over non-disclosure of conflict of interest. The board chairman also demanded the return of all bonuses and stock options received by the CEO since her appointment in 2009. Was the ICICI board chairman right to take strict action against the CEO for non-disclosure of conflict of interest? What could he do to improve governance practices at ICICI? Arpita Agnihotri is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg. Saurabh Bhattacharya is affiliated with Newcastle University.