Rico Back leaves Royal Mail with immediate effect

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Rico Back is stepping down as Group CEO of Royal Mail with immediate effect.

Back took the role of Group CEO in June 2018 and is succeeded by Keith Williams as interim executive chair of Royal Mail Group and Stuart Simpson as interim CEO of Royal Mail.

The news of Back’s departure came as Royal Mail released its current trading and financial position for the period between Monday, March 30 and Sunday, May 3. It announced that year-on-year revenue was down £22m (US$27m), with COVID-19 pushing costs up £40m (US$50m) as a result of overtime and agency costs due to high levels of absence, physical distancing measures and PPE.

Although parcel volumes were up 31% and revenue by 20%, 308 million fewer addressed letters were sent, meaning letter revenue was down 23%. This was partly offset by 36 million more parcels.

Royal Mail says despite COVID-19, it continues to deliver to 30 million households and Saturday deliveries are scheduled to resume on June 13.

Williams said, “Rico Back has made a significant contribution to the evolution of our business over his 20 years with us, particularly in building our international parcels business and developing our Group strategy, which recognized the urgent need for change to create a sustainable business for the future. On behalf of the board, I would like to extend my thanks to Rico and wish him well in the future.”

Back will be on gardening leave until August 15 and will receive his salary and benefits. Following this, he will receive £480,000 representing nine months’ pay in lieu of notice, to be reduced if he receives any alternative paid employment.

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