Yes Bank’s New CEO Should Not Be a Yes Man

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SOURCESmart Karma

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Yes Bank has appointed Ravneet Gill as the bank’s CEO, effective latest from March 1, 2019, for a 3-year term. The announcement led to a spurt in the bank’s share price, as the leadership issue was finally resolved.  While investors rejoiced, it remains to be seen whether the new CEO will be influenced by Rana Kapoor, who will step down as founder-CEO on January 31, 2019. Normally, in India, founders are reluctant to cede managerial control, and in banks, their influence often disrupts operational management even when the regulator has compelled founders to step down from the board. It is therefore imperative that once Rana Kapoor steps down as CEO his role should only be restricted to a founder shareholder without any operational involvement even as an advisor.  Gill’s actions as Yes Bank CEO will need to be closely monitored as some board appointees have already been made prior to his taking charge. In particular, we need to closely watch how he manages the close associates of Rana Kapoor, one of whom has been elevated to the board, subject to the regulator’s approval. If Gill starts inducting experienced bankers from outside in senior positions in Yes Bank, it will demonstrate to the public that he is not under the yoke of the founder, but if he continues with the existing team of senior executive management or permits an advisory role for the departed founder-CEO it will indicate the continued strong influence of Rana Kapoor on the bank he co-founded.

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