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MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved Sashidhar Jagdishan as the next chief executive officer of HDFC Bank, sources said.

The private sector lender received the RBI’s approval letter last night.

Jagdishan is currently additional director and head of finance, human resources, at the bank.

He will take over from Aditya Puri who will step down as the bank’s longest serving CEO ever since he took charge 26 years ago. Puri is set to retire by October this year.

Jagdishan was the bank's top choice among the three shortlisted candidates, with Kaizad Bharucha and Sunil Garg also in the running.

In November, the bank had constituted a six-member search committee to find a replacement for Puri and had hired Egon Zehnder for assistance. Puri was an advisor to the search committee.

Among the names Zehnder recommended were those of Mastercard chief executive officer Ajay Banga, who is likely to take charge as chairman in January 2021, and Piyush Gupta, global chief executive officer of DBS Bank.

Over the last few months, HDFC Bank had seen a flurry of senior level exits of Abhay Aima, group head of private banking, Ashok Khanna, group head of secured vehicle loans; and Munish Mittal, chief information officer—all veterans and close aides of Puri.

While Khanna’s exit was linked to allegations of conflicts of interest in the purchase of global positioning systems for vehicles financed by the bank, Aima and Mittal stepped down due to personal reasons.

In 2018, private sector lender Axis Bank had a similar series of high-level exits after the retirement of Shikha Sharma, who was succeeded by Amitabh Chaudhary as managing director and chief executive officer.

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