HDFC Bank Ltd’s managing director Aditya Puri Monday said that the bank will find a replacement for deputy managing director Paresh Sukthankar before the end of the month.

In a call with analysts, Puri also said the position of deputy managing director will cease to exist after Sukthankar leaves. “That was recognition to the contribution Paresh made to the bank," said Puri.

Puri also denied rumours of any differences with Sukthankar and that the decision to leave was his personal choice. “It has been the most graceful exit. There is no acrimony, no differences of opinion," said Puri.

Puri also assured analysts the functioning of the bank was not linked to any individual.

Sukthankar has been with the bank since its inception in 1994.

He has been responsible for risk management, financial control and human resources. He was also one of the front-runners for the post of managing director after Puri’s retirement in October 2020.

“Paresh was a contender. But there would also be a search to find the next CEO," he added.

Puri also said the process of selecting his successor will start from March and that a new CEO will be in place 12 months before his retirement.

“I don’t see any challenge to the bank’s fundamentals from a management transition or operations perspective. Considering Puri will be in charge at the bank for a couple of more years, he will ensure that it will be a smooth transition," said Suresh Ganapathy, director of financial services research at Macquarie Capital Securities India Pvt. Ltd.

Analysts say HDFC Bank may look at appointing an internal candidate as an executive director to replace Sukthankar. Currently, Kaizad Bharucha is the only executive director on the bank’s board. Sashidhar Jagdishan, the bank’s chief financial officer, is touted to be one of the candidates to replace Sukthankar as he handles similar portfolios, said analysts.

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