International Distributions Services (IDS), the parent group of Royal Mail, has named Martin Seidenberg as its new leader as new boss says there’s opportunity ahead, “but we must seize it”.
Seidenberg, who has been chief executive of parcel delivery company GLS – which is owned by IDS – will take charge of IDS in August under a revised leadership structure.
GLS was the only part of the business to grow its revenue in the first quarter of the financial year in results released separately today.
Royal Mail’s total revenue dropped by four per cent against the same period the previous year, and parcel volumes fell by 10 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2022.
Today the company also reported it has kept its outlook unchanged and focus remains on “improving quality of service” in its first quarterly results.
Seidenberg spent 15 years at Deutsche Post DHL in his native Germany joining GLS in 2015. He has been a board member since April 2021.
His tasks will involve rebuilding relations with the Communication Workers Union after a torrid period of strikes, and driving the £1bn loss making Royal Mail back to profitability.
Simon Thompson, the previous boss of Royal Mail, stepped down in May after a tough battle with the main union, enabling the company to “move forward under new leadership”.
Seidenberg’s role was created following a restructure of the top jobs at IDS and he will choose new chief execs for Royal Mail and GLS soon.
IDS saw a 7.4 per cent increase in revenues in the first quarter compared to the previous year. Royal Mail rebranded to IDS last July to acknowledge Amsterdam-based GLS’s significance to the group.
Chair Keith Williams said: “Under Martin’s leadership, GLS has grown to nearly 40 per cent of group revenue and it continuously delivered significant profit to the group.
“With Royal Mail entering a new phase of its transformation after the ballot on the agreement with the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), and GLS on a positive trajectory, we can move both companies forward under Martin’s leadership to deliver change, growth and value across the group.”
Seidenberg will choose new CEOs for GLS and Royal Mail in due course.
The good news for Royal Mail is that strikes look to be easing off after workers voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions earlier this month.
However, Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown warned that all is not well and rosy just yet.
He said: “When you consider the turmoil that’s plagued Royal Mail over the past year or so, with persistent strikes and lacklustre performance, it’s still a little surprising to see updates with no major issues. But don’t confuse the lack of any major issues with a business that’s delivering on all cylinders, at this stage just one cylinder would be welcome – but we’re not there yet.
“The positive CWU vote earlier in the month paves the way for a recovery and should all but extinguish the chances of further strikes – but now the real work begins.”
IDS is predicted to face a heavy loss-making year.