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The Connaught Place branch of Axis Bank in New Delhi, December 15, 2016.IANS

India's major private sector lender Axis Bank has sacked more than 50 mid-level managers as part of cost-cutting and restructuring. The decision has been taken by the bank's new chief executive officer Amitabh Chaudhry, who took over in January. The affected people were holding various supervisory functions in corporate and retail banking.

According to Economic Times, they were asked to leave after the newly appointed CEO reviewed the business and the bank could not find suitable jobs in the hierarchy. However, the actual number of employees fired is still unknown. A source said, "There has been an overhaul of the business and some mid-level people could not find space in the new scheme of things. They have been told to find another job. This has rattled many old-timers in the bank."

The bank claimed that the changes have been carried out with the objective of increasing 'productivity and efficiency'. It further added that lay off is not the central part of its reorganisation plans.

Executive Director (Corporate Centre) Rajesh Dahiya added ''Axis Bank has been working on multiple initiatives aimed at streamlining processes and simplifying the overall organizational structure. While a few employees have opted for early retirement as a result of this process, the bank has no plans to reduce manpower."

Axis Bank CEO, Amitabh Chaudhry
Axis Bank CEO, Amitabh Chaudhry sitting in the middleCredit: Reuters

Axis Bank CEO Amitabh Chaudhry has introduced a series of structural changes in India's third largest private sector bank. He has brought new faces on board and changed business strategy to a low-risk, high-growth orientation. Now, the bank's operations are divided in such a way that origination, risk and monitoring are under different operations. Moreover, as per the new plans, all the departmental heads, including the technology and risk managers, directly report to Chaudhry.

Sources add that old employees are being ignored by the CEO. "There is some unease at the way new people have been brought in while some in the senior management from among the old-timers have been left with truncated portfolios. Some have left and some others are seriously contemplating moving out. A large part of it is the cultural change brought about by the new CEO, which is expected when a leadership change happens. Chaudhry has taken control and takes all the decisions,'' the source added.