Heathrow exec appointed new head of Britain’s Royal Mail

Heathrow exec appointed new head of Britain’s Royal Mail

British postal operator Royal Mail is facing an overhaul to cut heavy losses – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP ALEX WONG

Logistics and mail group International Distributions Services on Tuesday said it had appointed Emma Gilthorpe as chief executive of its subsidiary Royal Mail.

Gilthorpe will join the embattled British postal operator on May 1, working with group chief executive Martin Seidenberg before taking over fully later in the summer months.

She is currently chief operating officer at London Heathrow Airport.

The appointment comes with Royal Mail facing an overhaul to its letter delivery service, including cutting it from the current six days a week to five or even three, as part of moves to halt mounting losses totalling millions of pounds (dollars).

Industry regulator Ofcom is currently assessing a range of proposals, prompted by the switch from traditional mail to email, and increases in parcel services due to e-commerce.

Seidenberg has been at the helm temporarily since the departure of Simon Thompson last October. He was criticised for his handling of strike action by Royal Mail employees and mail delivery performance.

Gilthorpe called it “an exciting time to be joining Royal Mail at this crucial period for the company”.

“Royal Mail is a great British brand with a long and proud history,” she said of the company, which was founded in 1635. “Now is the time to ensure it has a successful future too.”

Seidenberg said Gilthorpe, who has been at Heathrow since 2009 and previously worked at BT and Cable & Wireless, had “an impressive track record of delivering major strategic change programmes whilst driving up performance”.


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