Royal Mail appoints new CEO

Jo Francis
Monday, January 11, 2021

Royal Mail has appointed one of its own non-executive directors, also the man previously behind the NHS Test & Trace app, as its new CEO.

Thompson: "We need to build on the great trust we have on the doorstep"
Thompson: "We need to build on the great trust we have on the doorstep"

Simon Thompson takes over as chief executive of the UK business with immediate effect. He had been a non-exec at the group since November 2017. 

He was previously chief product officer at e-commerce firm Ocado before being drafted in to work on the NHS Test & Trace app for around four months last year. Royal Mail cited his “extensive business experience and a proven record in customer experience and the digitisation of businesses” in its announcement.

Of his appointment, Thompson said that Royal Mail workers had “demonstrated the invaluable service they provide for our communities up and down the country” amid the extraordinary challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Looking ahead, we need to build on the great trust we have on the doorstep. We need to develop a razor-sharp focus on the customer, making sure our services are delivering exactly what our customers need and want.  And we need to explore new opportunities for growth.  We now have a unique opportunity to grow our business, and I look forward to working with our colleagues and stakeholders to take this great company forward,” he stated.

His appointment has resulted in a number of other board level changes.

Stuart Simpson, who has been interim CEO since the departure of controversial prior incumbent Rico Back in May 2020, will leave the group at the end of the month, after a short handover period.

Simpson was previously CFO. Mick Jeavons, who filled that role on an interim basis, will now become CFO permanently and joins the main board.

Martin Seidenberg, chief executive of continental parcels business GLS, will also join the Royal Mail board on 1 April.

Keith Williams, who stepped up as executive chair after Back’s departure, reverts to being non-executive chair.

Thompson will have a base salary of £526,000. Simpson is set to receive a £450,000 pay-off in lieu of notice.

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