Britain's Royal Mail is turning to a Canadian to help sort out its many troubles, marking the first time the famed mail service has gone abroad to find a chief executive.
Royal Mail confirmed Thursday that Moya Greene, the CEO of Canada Post, will become the British post office's new chief executive in July. Ms. Greene, 56, has held the top job at Canada Post since May 2005 and recently had her five-year contract extended to 2012.
Ms. Greene "will bring energy, clear thinking and a proven leadership track record - as well as hugely relevant experience - to the business at an important moment in its evolution," Donald Brydon, Royal Mail chairman said in a statement.
Ms. Greene is replacing Adam Crozier, who left Royal Mail in January to join broadcaster ITV. At Royal Mail, he earned about $1.5-million in total annual compensation. That is roughly three times what Ms. Greene makes at Canada Post.
Ms. Greene was unavailable for comment Thursday but said in a statement that she was "honoured to be joining such a great company."
It won't be an easy job. The Royal Mail has been battered in recent years by falling mail volumes, soaring pension costs and labour unrest. Mail volumes fell 8 per cent last year as more customers turned to electronic means of communications. The company's pension deficit has climbed close to $10-billion and the mail service faced two strikes last year. This week, Britain's new coalition government announced plans to privatize part of the mail service, prompting angry comments from labour leaders. And next year the European Union will eliminate postal monopolies in all 27 member countries, which is expected to lead to more mergers of post offices.
Ms. Greene has faced some of the same issues at Canada Post. She has won acclaim within the industry for producing regular annual profits, modernizing several operations and ensuring relative labour calm. Last year Canada Post had a profit of $281-million, up from $90-million the previous year. However, both profits were due to extensive cost cutting, totalling more than $600-million over the two years. Revenues were also down year over year, falling to $7.31-billion in 2009 from $7.73-billion in 2008.
She is well-known in post office circles and gave the keynote address at a recent conference of European postal executives. Her speech was titled "Translating operational theory into practice: engaging with your work force."
Marc Courtois, Canada Post's chairman, said the company will start a search for a new CEO. "While we are sorry to lose Moya, she leaves Canada Post extremely well placed to face the future," Mr. Courtois said in a message sent to employees. "I think Moya will agree with me that the Royal Mail's interest in her reflects very positively on Canada Post as a whole and the way our company is viewed by its peers."