– UK, London – Royal Mail plc (LON:RMG) today announced that Keith Williams, currently Deputy Chairman, will succeed Les Owen as Chairman with effect from 22 May 2019, following the announcement of Royal Mail’s Full Year 2018-19 Results.

Keith Williams was appointed to the Royal Mail plc Board on 1 January 2018. He was appointed Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in July 2018, and Deputy Chairman in November 2018. His appointment follows a search process led by the Senior Independent Director, Orna Ni-Chionna, with support from a leading executive search agency. A number of potential external candidates were considered.

Keith is a highly regarded British business leader, who worked in the UK and internationally before joining British Airways Plc in 1998. He worked there for 18 years, including five years as CFO, three years as CEO and two years as Executive Chairman. During that time, he led the transformation of the company, building a leaner and more customer focused organisation with a sustainable future. Aviva plc announced today that Keith Williams will be stepping down as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of its Audit Committee immediately following the conclusion of the company’s AGM on 23 May 2019.

Les Owen will step down as Chairman and as a Director with effect from 22 May 2019.

Orna Ni-Chionna, Senior Independent Director, Royal Mail plc, said: “Our external search has confirmed that Keith Williams is the right person to chair the Royal Mail Group through a significant period of change. The Company will benefit from his strong leadership skills, and his industrial relations, operational and strategic expertise.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Les for his dedication and commitment to Royal Mail. As Chairman since September, he has provided strong leadership and steady support to the Board as we have sought to address a number of very significant challenges. We are grateful to him for stepping up into the Chairman’s role as we sought to find a long-term appointee.”

Keith Williams, Deputy Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “I am delighted to accept this role. Royal Mail has many strengths, including great brands and great people, which form a platform for future success. The fast-moving delivery market means that we need to keep changing, and at greater pace. I look forward to working with Rico Back, our Group CEO, and the senior management team as we address the significant challenges facing our business.”

Les Owen, Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “As we previously communicated, my tenure as Chairman was planned to be for a limited period only. I am delighted with the announcement that Keith will succeed me in May. Over the next two months, we will work closely together to ensure that our management team are fully supported as they address the challenges we face in the UK letters and parcels business. Keith is well known to our management, provides continuity, and has in his time on the Board developed a deep understanding of our business and its priorities.

“We are planning to further strengthen the Board in the coming months through the appointment of a number of additional Non-Executive Directors.”

About Keith Williams

Keith Williams was appointed to the Board of Royal Mail plc on 1 January 2018. He is a highly regarded business leader with extensive industrial relations, operational and customer service experience. Keith was appointed Executive Chairman of British Airways Plc in January 2014 following three years as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining British Airways, Keith worked for companies including Reckitt and Colman, Apple Computer Inc., and Boots. He was also an Executive Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee at Transport for London until 2016. Keith is a chartered accountant. Keith was appointed Chairman of Halfords Group plc in July 2018. He is independent Chair of the Government’s Rail Review, which is due to issue its Report later this year. Aviva plc. announced today that Keith Williams will be stepping down as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of its Audit Committee immediately following the conclusion of the company’s AGM on 23 May 2019.

About Les Owen

Les Owen was appointed to the Board in January 2010. He was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Remuneration Committee and Nominations Committee. Les also chaired the Board Pensions Committee from 2013 to 2018. He has extensive experience of working in international listed companies in the financial, pensions and insurance sectors. Prior to joining Royal Mail, Les was Group Chief Executive Officer of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd and a member of the Global AXA Group Executive Board responsible for AXA’s Asian Life Insurance and Wealth Management operations. He was a Non-Executive Director of Post Office Limited from until March 2012. Les is currently a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Discovery Holdings, a South African listed health and life insurer.

About Royal Mail plc

Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International & Letters  comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a range of parcels and letters products, including the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week. Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems which covers 41 countries and nation states in Europe, eight states in the Western U.S. and in Canada. GLS operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.

For more information : https://www.royalmailgroup.com/en

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