• Saturday, June 10, 2023

Business

Barclays CEO Venkatakrishnan back to work after cancer recovery

The Indian American executive was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma last year and underwent five months of treatment in New York during which he chose to work remotely

Barclays CEO CS Venkatakrishnan (Photo: @Barclays/Twitter)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Barclays chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan is back to work at the British bank’s London headquarters, regaining “95 per cent” of his energy levels after recovering from cancer.

He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma last year and underwent five months of treatment in New York during which he chose to work remotely.

“I’m feeling fine,” Venkatakrishnan, who prefers to be called Venkat, told The Times, but admitted he is yet to reach “100 per cent” of his energy levels.

The Indian American executive also returned to his routine of getting up at 4:30 am and doing yoga and meditation before turning to work at 6:30 am.

He presented Barclays’ “strong” first quarter results last week, reporting a 27 per cent jump in its net profit to £1.8 billion.

Venkat, who took over as the CEO in 2021, revealed earlier this year that some people criticised him for opting to work through his treatment suggesting his position offered him the flexibility which was denied to many others.

He was asked if he was a “CEO swagger” as he was accused of “negative virtue signalling”, meaning it was not correct for people to take complete medical leave to heal themselves.

But he said his illness and the treatment offered him some lessons of life, including the importance of teamwork.

“We always have a sense that you’ve got to do a lot of things yourself, but when you are almost forced to have others pick up stuff for you, you realise they do it as well as, if not better than you sometimes,” Venkat told The Times.

Having studied applied maths at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he sounded optimistic about the UK’s economy, although he warned, “The key thing is getting investment back”.

Born in the south Indian city of Mysore and brought up in Delhi before moving to the US, Venkat has not fully relocated to London from New York where worked for JP Morgan before joining Barclays as chief risk officer in 2016.

But he said he has planned to spend 60-70 per cent of his time in London.

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