New IDS CEO pledges 'bright future'

Seidenberg: Royal Mail has "unrivalled scale"
Seidenberg: Royal Mail has "unrivalled scale"

International Distributions Services (IDS) is changing its board structure following the departure of Royal Mail CEO Simon Thompson.

Martin Seidenberg, who was CEO of continental and US parcels wing GLS, has been appointed to the newly-created role of group CEO at £14bn turnover IDS.

He will appoint his successor at GLS, and the new CEO for Royal Mail to replace Thompson, who resigned in May.

IDS chairman Keith Williams praised Seidenberg for his extensive experience in international logistics and proven track record.

He described him as “the right person to lead the group at this critical juncture”.

“Under Martin's leadership GLS has grown to nearly 40% of group revenue and it continuously delivered significant profit to the Group. He has transformed GLS into a state-of-the-art international parcel logistics network serving consumers and businesses across Europe and North America,” Williams said.

“With Royal Mail entering a new phase of its transformation after the ballot on the agreement with the CWU, and GLS on a positive trajectory, we can move both companies forward under Martin's leadership to deliver change, growth and value across the group.”

Seidenberg has worked at GLS since 2015 and joined the IDS board in 2021. Prior to joining GLS he spent 15 years working in increasingly senior roles at Deutsche Post DHL.

He will take up his new role in August, and will relocate to the UK. His base salary will be £700,000.

Commenting on his appointment, Seidenberg said: “It is a privilege to be appointed to lead IDS and ensure that both Royal Mail and GLS reach their full potential. We may have challenges ahead, but through transformation and working together with our people, we can undoubtedly have a bright future.”

Regarding Royal Mail, which is emerging from a damaging industrial dispute, he stated: “With Royal Mail's brand, unrivalled scale and postmen and women connecting every household and business in the country, we have plenty of opportunity ahead of us.

“But we must seize it. By enabling Royal Mail to best serve our customers' evolving demands, we can deliver benefits for customers, employees and shareholders alike.”

In a Q1 trading update released today (20 July) IDS again called for the government and Ofcom to take urgent action to reform the Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Royal Mail sales were down 4% year-on-year during April-June, at £1.8bn.

Addressed letter volumes were “more robust than expected, which combined with pricing actions led to stronger revenue performance, particularly in business mail,” IDS stated.

However, addressed letter volumes are still down 30% compared with pre-pandemic .

The firm hiked First Class stamp prices by nearly 16% in April, with the new price of £1.10 breaching the £1 mark for the first time.

Group sales for Q1 including GLS were just over £3bn.

IDS’ share price rose by 3% on the news, to 275.00p, a new high for 2023. (52-week high: 298.10p, low: 173.65p.)