Royal Mail shakes up management after series of setbacks as senior executive departs

Busiest Week Of The Year For Royal Mail
Royal Mail's stock crashed by 21 per cent in early October after it issued a profit warning (Source: Getty)

One of Royal Mail's top executives has agreed to step down from her role as the postal service shakes up its senior management following a series of knocks to its share price.

Sue Whalley, head of the UK post and parcels division, will depart in March next year, and has left the board with immediate effect.

"Following all we have done to move the organisation forward in recent years and to implement change to position Royal Mail as a leader in e-commerce, now is the time to move on," Whalley, who helped take the company private in her 12 years at the firm, said.

"I would like to thank the many colleagues - frontline and management - who have helped me in my time at Royal Mail."

Whalley will be replaced by group chief executive Rico Back, who will assume commercial responsibilities for post and parcels alongside his existing role.

Operational responsibilities for Whalley's division will be taken on by Stuart Simpson, Royal Mail's chief financial officer. Whalley will work alongside Simpson on the Royal Mail's Christmas operational programme and assist with ongoing regulatory, legal and other matters.

Shares nudged up half a per cent following the announcement after tumbling from 631p in May to just 354.9p this month following a series of setbacks.

Royal Mail's stock crashed by 14 per cent in early October after it issued a profit warning, before closing another seven per cent down later that same week.

Investors then expressed anger with the company's management over its pensions agreement with staff, claiming the deal with disgruntled staff was presented as a win-win situation when it was not.

Shareholders also revolted over a near £1m pay off for former boss Dame Moya Greene, while MPs questioned the company over the £5.8m it paid to current boss Back to buy him out of a previous contract.

Chairman Les Owen said: "The board would like to thank Sue Whalley for the significant contribution she has made to Royal Mail across a whole range of issues over the last 12 years. She has a strong track record of driving operational and cultural change, supporting letters, and implementing digital transformations to support the growth of the parcels business. We wish her well in the future."