Calls for Royal Mail CEO to work in UK

Monday, April 20, 2020

Royal Mail chief executive Rico Back is under fire for working from home – because the home in question is a luxury penthouse in Switzerland.

Royal Mail CEO Rico Back: remote working
Royal Mail CEO Rico Back: remote working

In a highly-critical article, the Daily Mail said there were calls for Back to return to the UK, or quit.

The newspaper also claimed that chief operating officer Achim Dunnwald was also working from home in his native Germany.

It said that investors were calling for Royal Mail’s board to take a pay cut and “share the pain” after the group axed its final dividend due to the virus crisis.

Dave Ward, general secretary at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) tweeted: “The UK is gripped by the coronavirus crisis. Postal workers are keeping our communities connected. By any measure it is not acceptable for the CEO of the UK Postal Service to live and work abroad – at this, or frankly any other time.”

In a Covid-19 update at the end of last month, Royal Mail said it expected its UK parcels, international and letters business to be “materially loss making” in the 2020-21 financial year.

Its transformation plan for the business had already been delayed, and the Covid-19 pandemic meant “it will now take longer to achieve the targets laid out in our Journey 2024 plan”.

The group cut its final dividend to preserve cash.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told the Mail that Back was “completely focused” on the group’s priorities to “protect our people, protect the country and protect our company” during the crisis.

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