It is official, Axis Bank has appointed HDFC Life’s Amitabh Chaudhry as the bank’s CEO and MD after Shikha Sharma retires from the post. Amitabh Chaudhry has been appointed as MD and CEO from 1 January, 2019, for a period of three years. An IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus, Amitabh Chaudhry has been the Managing Director and the CEO of HDFC Standard Life since 18 January, 2010. Chaudhry also worked at Infosys BPO Limited of IT giant Infosys for three-and-a-half years between 2006 and 2009, as Chief Operating Officer. He rose to the position after he joined the company as the Head of Transition in 2003. He also worked at Bank of America (India) as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He has over 17 years of experience as Head of the Investment Banking Franchise for South East Asia and Structured Finance practice for Asia, according to Bloomberg. The soon-to-be CEO of Axis Bank, Amitabh Chaudhry completed engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in 1984. In July 2017, Shikha Sharma was appointed as Axis Bank’s CEO and MD for a fourth term. However, after the Reserve Bank of India’s intervention over her appointment, she requested a shorter stint of seven months. Shikha will retire on 31 December, 2018.

Anshula promoted as MD of SBI

Anshula Kant has been promoted as the Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of India (SBI), according to an SBI official order. She was the deputy MD in the bank. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment and stated that Kant will remain in the post till the date of her superannuation which falls on 30 September, 2020. This post went vacant after the resignation of B Sriram, who took over as the MD and CEO of IDBI Bank. The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) recommended the name of Kant for the appointment of the post after a scrutiny of as many as 14 persons who were recommended for the posts of MD and CEO in various public sector banks, out of which six of the 14 recommended are from SBI. With this appointment SBI now has four MDs – the others being PK Gupta, DK Khara and Arijit Basu.

Vibha elevated as CEO of HDFC Life

Vibha Padalkar has been elevated as the new Managing Director and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance for a period of three years. Before her elevation, Padalkar was the insurer’s Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. This comes after Amitabh Chaudhry resigned as the chief of HDFC Standard Life Insurance to join Axis Bank as Managing Director and CEO. Vibha, in her new role, will be leading the largest private sector life insurer in the country in terms of new business premium collection. The decision was taken at a meeting of the board of directors of the life insurer, based on the recommendation of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee. The company in a regulatory filing stated, “The terms of appointment are subject to approval by the shareholders and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.” “We have a strong team in place that has delivered over the years to make HDFC Life an industry leader, and we hope to continue with this track record, delivering more value as we go along,” Padalkar said.

Swiss to install Sridevi statue

Switzerland has been a favorite shooting location for Bollywood and Indian tourists have been flocking to the country in the hundreds of thousands. In a tribute to Sridevi, whose film Chandni was shot here, the Swiss tourism industry is planning to install a statue of the legendary leading lady. Sridevi was one of the Bollywood actors who set a trend by being picturised in the snowy Alps of Switzerland in the 80's and 90's. From Raj Kapoor’s Sangam in 1964 to Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ),Bollywood personalities have been active in this part of the world. Late filmmaker Yash Chopra was famously very fond of the snowy country and his films became associated with Switzerland. A majority of the iconic songs of Chopra’s 1989 Sridevi-starrer Chandni were shot in Switzerland. He was made honorary Ambassador of the town of Interlaken in 2011 along with having a statue and a train named after him. Recently, Karan Johar paid a cheeky tribute to the Bollywood obsession with Switzerland in his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.


The era of Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of China’s largest ecommerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is all set to become history as he is to step down as chairman in one year to concentrate on philanthropy and education, after passing the baton to trusted lieutenant Daniel Zhang. Ma, who turned 54 recently, has since long spoken about his plans to step back, insisting that Alibaba management should be relatively young and his retirement is not expected to affect the running of the company. This might sound rather rare for the founder of a big and transformative tech firm, especially one with a cult-like status like his, to retire so early. Commenting on the move, Rupert Hoogewerf, said, “There’s only Bill Gates who has done the same. No other tech founder in the world has just resigned like that at the top.” Ma who was to give up the chairman’s role in September 2019, will complete his current term on Alibaba’s board of directors following the company’s annual general meeting in 2020, the company said. Ma, a former English teacher with no technical background, co-founded Alibaba in 1999 with 17 others and has become one of the China’s richest people with a net worth of $36.6 billion, according to Forbes.


India ranks third globally in terms of number of publicly listed family owned businesses with 111 companies with a market capitalization of $839 billion, after China with 159 firms and the United States with 121 firms. According to the ‘Credit Suisse Family 1000 in 2018‘ report, published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI), in terms of number of family owned businesses, within the non-Japan Asian region, China, India and Hong Kong dominate the list. These three jurisdictions together comprise around 65 per cent of the non-Japan Asian section of the CSRI‘s database, and has a combined market capitalization of $2.85 trillion (or 71 per cent) of the market share. Korea came in fourth place, with 43 companies ($434.1 billion market capitalization ), followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, each with 26 companies. The report covered 11 markets in the non-Japan Asian region, which continue to dominate and represent a 53 per cent share of the universe, with a total market capitalization of over $4 trillion.

Mallika, Regional Director-HR, Hilton

Twenty-three years after being with Oberoi, Mallika Rao Bedi is shifting to Hilton aligning with its plans to expand its footprint in India. A loyalist among the big names in the corporate world, Mallika, who has worked with only one company, The Oberoi Group of Hotels, started her career after graduating from Mangalore University, and that is where she stayed put for 23 years. Now, she moves to Hilton as Regional Director-HR. At Oberoi’s she had been extensively involved in hotel operations garnering experience in recruitment, selection, talent management, employee on boarding, training and development, employee relations and process improvement, in line with business requirements, which resulted in minimum attrition. At Hilton, her key areas of focus will be to work with the India team to drive best practices as well as reinforce as one of the best places to work, this American hotel chain which has gone through a leadership change this year. In January, two key appointments were made, Navjit Ahluwalia joined as senior Vice President and Country Head, India, and Jatin Khanna joined as Vice President and head of operations, India. Even Alan Watts, Executive Vice President and President, Hilton (Asia Pacific) is a recent joinee.

Kohli, Hero MotoCorp brand ambassador

Virat Kolhi could not match England in the Test series as India faced a 4-1 defeat in their away-series, but the Indian skipper made headway in the corporate world, with Hero MotoCorp Ltd. signing in Kohli as its brand ambassador. The company added that Kohli will feature in Hero’s ad campaign for the Xtreme 200R. The Hero Xtreme 200R gets a semi-digital instrument console, LED pilot lamps, LED tail lights, dual-tone graphics and ergonomically designed seats. The bike draws power from a 200cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine that puts out 18.4 PS at 8000 rpm and a peak torque of 17.1 Nm at 6500 rpm. Additionally, Hero has added supplementary balancers to the engine in order to ensure smooth delivery of power.

Apart from cricket, Hero MotoCorp also promotes multiple sports disciplines, including golf, football, field hockey and motorsports in India and across the world. The firm also steps it up a notch by promoting athletes from various sport disciplines. Hero MotoCorp has also been a partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – both at the central level as well as the team sponsor of Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians. The company is currently the title sponsor of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, (Hero CPL) - the biggest T20 tournament in the Caribbean. Diego Simeone, the legendary Argentinian footballer and the current coach of the Atletico Madrid team, is also a global brand ambassador of Hero MotoCorp.

Swapna Rege joins HappyLocate as CHRO

Monginis Foods’ Swapna Rege has started a new innings in her professional career with HappyLocate, as CHRO. In her last role as the corporate Head-HR at Monginis Foods, Rege focused on creating an atmosphere where employees were engaged and productive. In order to achieve that goal, Rege introduced various interventions, such as surveys, ‘voice of employees’ programs, L&D initiatives, formation of management executive committees, and more. Swapna joined Monginis Foods in 2010, driving the HR initiatives to enhance communication, establish trust, increase comfort in soliciting feedback and unite employees towards a common goal. Rege has vast experience in managing change, interventions, transformation, learning & development, as well as the recruitment function in different industries including manufacturing, finance and retail. The opportunity allows Rege to explore a new sector and setup altogether. Rege has completed an MBA in human resources management from Wellingkar Institute of Management. She is a certified neuro linguistic program (NLP) practitioner and a trained life coach from Symbiosis Coaching. Happy Locate is a digital platform, where end-to-end relocation is managed and coordinated with services, such as packing, moving, hotel and flight booking, all integrated onto a single platform through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based relocation tools. Rege believes that the only skill which keeps an individual relevant at work is the ability to constantly evolve, learn and improve. Everything else can be replicated.

LinkedIn India head Akshay Kothari quits

LinkedIn has cleared that Kothari has quit the company and has moved back to San Francisco to start his own venture. Kothari had a five-year stint with the company as the head of LinkedIn India and VP of international product. LinkedIn, in an emailed statement stated, “We are very grateful for Akshay’s leadership and contributions at LinkedIn for the past five-and-a-half years. He joined LinkedIn in 2013 after Pulse, a company which he co-founded was acquired by LinkedIn. Since then, he played key roles across the company, most recently leading the growth of our business in India and international product efforts, with products like LinkedIn Lite. We wish him well in his next endeavour as he returns to his entrepreneurial roots. In India, while we finalize the appointment of a new country manager, Olivier Legrand, MD of APAC will work closely with our local leadership team to operate as business as usual.” Incidentally, Akshay had been recently promoted to the new position of Head, International Product, LinkedIn in May this year. The expansion of his role this year came two years after Kothari was promoted as the country manager for LinkedIn’s India market in January 2016.

Tesla’s HR head Gaby Toledano quits

Two of the top executives of Elon Musk-founded electric automobile company, Tesla, have decided to move on, including the company’s HR Head, Gabrielle Toledano, and Dave Morton, the company’s chief accounting officer. This has come when the company is going through a major upheaval. Gaby, as she was fondly addressed, was reported to have been on leave to spend time with family, and then decided not to re-join for personal reasons. Toledano was an executive of a video game publisher company, Electronic Arts (EA) prior to joining Tesla. Prior to EA, she led the HR team at Siebel Systems. She has also worked in HR leadership positions at Oracle and Microsoft. On the other hand, Tesla had experienced an exodus from its HR team in 2017. Kevin Kassekert is expected to step into Toledano’s shoes. He is reported to have been promoted as Vice President of people and places. Kassekert has been with Tesla for six years, and his last position was that of VP-infrastructure development.

BY Joe Williams