Royal Mail appoints Board member Les Owen as Chairman of its Board of Directors

– UK, London – Royal Mail plc (LSE:RMG), today announces that Peter Long has informed the Company of his decision to step down from the Board and this will take place with immediate effect. The Board has appointed Les Owen, a highly experienced Royal Mail Board member, as Chairman with immediate effect, thus providing continuity.

Peter joined the Board in June 2015 and was appointed Chairman in September 2015. Peter has led the Board through a time of major change for Royal Mail, including ongoing transformation, industrial relations agreements with the unions and the expansion of the international business. He has refreshed the Board and overseen the succession planning, appointment and transitioning of the Chief Finance Officer, Stuart Simpson, and the Group Chief Executive Officer, Rico Back.

Peter Long, Royal Mail plc, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I step down from the Royal Mail Board. Over my three years as Chairman, I have taken great pride in what has been achieved by the Group. It is a Company with an incredible heritage. Operating in a challenging environment, it is positioning itself well for diversified growth under the leadership of Rico Back and his executive team. I wish all my Royal Mail colleagues every success in the future.”

Orna Ni-Chionna, Senior Independent Director, Royal Mail plc, will review the Board succession arrangements, including for the Chair, in line with the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code. Orna Ni-Chionna said: “I would like to thank Peter for his strong leadership of the Board over the past three years. We understand why he has chosen to step down at this time and we wish him all the best. We are fortunate to have an individual of Les Owen’s calibre and experience to step into the Chairman’s role with immediate effect. Les has a deep understanding of our business and the challenges we face.” 

Les Owen joined the Royal Mail Board in 2010 and has been a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee. He chaired the Pensions Committee during the key review of Royal Mail’s pension arrangements.

Les has significant experience as a senior executive in a listed company environment. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of AXA Sun Life and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings. More recently, he has been a non-executive director of a number of listed companies in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

Les Owen, Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “I would like to thank Peter for his significant contribution over the past three years. I look forward to working with Rico and my Board colleagues as we focus on implementing our strategy in the UK and overseas.”

About Les Owen

Les Owen was appointed to the Board in 2010. 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. a member of the Global AXA Group Executive Board and responsible for AXA’s Asian Life Insurance and Wealth Management operations, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Sun Life plc., Non-Executive Director of Post Office Limited, Non-Executive Director of Just Retirement Group plc and Non-Executive Director of CPP Group plc. Les is currently Non-Executive Director of Computershare, but, as previously announced, will be stepping down in November 2018. He is Non-Executive Director 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 (UKPIL) 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 (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) 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.

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