The Royal Mail has announced that chief executive Moya Greene will step down in September after more than eight years at the helm.
Greene oversaw the privatisation of the Royal Mail in 2013, since when the company’s shares soared from a flotation price of 330p to just over 600p in 2014 before falling as low as 376p in September last year.
She also settled a long-running pensions dispute with workers.
Going private: CEO Moya Greene oversaw the privatisation of the Royal Mail in 2013, since when the company’s shares soared from 330p to just over 600p in 2014
Greene, who will also stand down from the board in July, will receive a handsome payout of almost £1million including a cash payment equivalent to one year’s base salary which was £547,800 and a payment equivalent to the target annual cash bonus of £367,000 when she leaves on September 14, according to the Royal Mail.
She will be replaced by Rico Back, who will step in as group chief executive and join the board on June 1.
Back will take the role having previously been a senior Royal Mail Group executive and currently chief of its European subsidiary, General Logistics Systems for 18 years.
He will stand for formal election to the role at the company’s AGM in July.
Chairman Peter Long said: ‘When Moya joined in the summer of 2010, the company was balance sheet insolvent.
‘Since then, Royal Mail has been transformed, including our privatisation in 2013 and two significant, ground-breaking agreements with the CWU.
‘Alongside the strong financial position Moya has secured for the company, we have invested over £1.5billion in our UK operation in recent years.
‘We are one of the most favourably viewed brands in the UK.
Standing down: The Royal Mail has announced that Greene will step down in September after more than eight years at the helm
‘I would like to extend to Moya our sincere thanks for her tremendous contribution during a defining time for us.’
When she took over, the company was barely breaking even and it had a reported operating profit of £18m in 2010/11.
But she turned that around, growing operating profit to £490m in 2017 and generated total returns of 41.7 per cent over the past year, well above the 7.3 per cent benchmark FTSE All-Share gauge.
She also averted industrial action this year after striking a deal with unions on pay, pensions and a shorter working week for employees.
Big turnaround: Greene increased operating profit to £490m in 2017 and generated total returns of 41.7 per cent over the past year
Under the agreement Royal Mail’s old pension plan will close and be replaced by a new collective defined contribution scheme.
Greene, who was previously boss of Canada Post and one of six female bosses in the FTSE 100, said it had been a ‘great privilege to serve as CEO of this cherished UK institution’.
Back said he was pleased to ‘lead a company which is so much a part of the fabric of the UK’, thanking Greene for her support.
But he faces a raft of structural challenges including questions over the cost of labour and the decline in posted letters.
He will be supported by Sue Whalley, who took the lead in reaching the recent agreement with the CWU and played a big role in the privatisation process, will be promoted to run the Royal Mail’s UK post and parcels operation and will join the board in June.
Greene will continue to serve as non-executive director of EasyJet and is set to join Rio Tinto’s board later this year.
She is also a trustee of the Tate.
Royal Mail Group shares were up 0.3 per cent at 564p the start of trading today, valuing the company at £5.6bn, around 20 per cent of which are owned by employees and retail shareholders.
Government sold its final stake in the company in 2015.