Royal Mail chairman to step down after bruising 15 months


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The chairman of Royal Mail, who once claimed that its £1.5m-a-year chief executive was underpaid, has announced his departure just 15 months after the postal operator’s bruising privatisation.

Donald Brydon, a former Barclays Bank veteran who is paid £200,000 a year for working at least two days a week, has chaired Royal Mail since 2009, but he was thrust into the spotlight after the 500-year-old postal service  was controversially listed on the London Stock Exchange in October 2013.  He  will continue to chair the board until at least the annual meeting in the summer.

Although ministers were accused of “giving away” the company too cheaply, after its share price soared, the stock has since come under pressure following Amazon’s decision to roll out its own logistics network for deliveries. The shares dipped  another 3.10p to 434.70p yesterday following news of Mr Brydon’s departure, but they are well above the 330p listing price.

Mr Brydon, 69, also faced heavy criticism for claiming last year that Royal Mail’s Canadian chief executive, Moya Greene, whom he hired, needed a pay rise. He said he would press for an increase, adding: “She’s the lowest-paid chief executive in the FTSE 100. Investors are saying, ‘Donald, how are we going to keep her?’ My challenge is now to make sure she stays.”

Mr Brydon, who is also chairman of the software group Sage, said: “I am proud of what Royal Mail has achieved... in the past six years. Our transformation is well under  way and we are now a FTSE 100 company. I feel now is the right time for me to make this decision.”