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New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

25 Mar 2019, 22:42

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/03/22/royal-mail-names-ba-veteran-keith-williams-chair/

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

Jack Torrance Alan Tovey Charlie Taylor-Kroll
22 MARCH 2019 • 3:20PM

A top shareholder in Royal Mail has hit out at its latest choice of chairman, warning that Keith Williams will be spread too thinly.

Mr Williams also chairs Halfords, is leading a government review of the railways and is deputy chairman of the John Lewis Partnership. He will step down as a non-executive director of Aviva to assuage concerns about “overboarding”.

But a source at one big institutional investor said: “It's simply not credible that one individual can fulfill all these responsibilities fully. Chairmen are typically most needed at points of crisis ... and then it becomes a full-time job.”

Mr Williams, who has been Royal Mail’s deputy chairman since November, will earn £300,000 a year after taking over in May.

He will replace Les Owen, who has only held the role since September, when previous chairman Peter Long stepped down. Royal Mail said Mr Owen was only a short-term appointment.

Mr Long quit in the wake of a bruising investor revolt over pay. Seventy per cent of Royal Mail shareholders voted against its remuneration package for senior management at last year's general meeting.

The Telegraph understands that Mr Williams - a former executive chairman of British Airways - plans to step down from his role at John Lewis once a successor to outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield is appointed.

He will continue to act as independent chair of the Government's Rail Review until later this year.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We are very comfortable with Keith’s commitments, as he is, and they are very much in accordance with the appropriate corporate governance guidelines.”

Orna Ni-Chionna, the senior independent director who led the recruitment process, said Mr Williams was the “right person to chair the Royal Mail Group through a significant period of change”.

Royal Mail chief executive Rico Back, who took over from Moya Greene last year, is under pressure to get the former state monopoly back on track after a disastrous profit warning that sent shares tumbling in September.

The stock has lost half its value over the past year, pushing the company out of the FTSE 100 index. The shares were 2.5pc lower at 243p in afternoon trade, well below the 330p price at which they floated in 2013.

Mr Williams said: “I look forward to working with Rico Back and the senior management team as we address the significant challenges facing our business.”
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New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

26 Mar 2019, 12:13

Only one word can describe the payment to these part time leeches, " obscene ".
They sit in meetings to make decisions on a sinking ship while filling their pockets with their ill gotten gains at the expense of shareholders. The level of corporate board room corruption is shocking and unacceptable when you consider the real victims off their decisions, the workforce! Treated with contempt while they say cuts in costs are a must, while filling their pockets. Snouts in the trough! .? It is open criminality with NO comprehension of any wrongdoing.

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

26 Mar 2019, 12:28

Do you know how much Dave Ward earns as General Secretary of the CWU? In 2017 his total remuneration was £116,573.

Do you believe the workforce are getting value for their money from their membership subscription costs?

Corruption is rife at the top of any business/organisation.

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

26 Mar 2019, 14:20

lambe720 wrote:Do you know how much Dave Ward earns as General Secretary of the CWU? In 2017 his total remuneration was £116,573.

Do you believe the workforce are getting value for their money from their membership subscription costs?

Corruption is rife at the top of any business/organisation.

Ward, like other major Union leaders are paid on a similar scale or wage structure. He is also a full time employee!!
Well paid admittedly, but these guys are only PART time board members with many other similar positions on other corporate companies.
If Ward was to sit on RM board getting that kind of renumeration I could see your point.
This guy is picking up £300,000 for a part time job and that is the point I am making, Wards salarly is a topic for a separate debate, whether you think he is worth it or not. RM directors are responsible for a failing company with the share price dropping like a stone from the sky while cutting the grass root employees jobs etc, while filling their own coffers.
We all have opinions on what a person is worth, like MPs, doctors, nurses compared to footballers, bankers and company directors without even considering their self imposed obscene bonuses on top of their part time wages.

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

27 Mar 2019, 12:57

Time for a revolution in this country. Not riots and destruction but if they don't turn the company around they get f**k all wages. Also there wages should be based at say5 or 6 times the average wage in their particular industry, maybe then they would stop making staff part time onbullshit contracts. If that doesn't work by all means hang them by the balls. :cuppa

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

27 Mar 2019, 14:20

lambe720 wrote:Do you know how much Dave Ward earns as General Secretary of the CWU? In 2017 his total remuneration was £116,573.
Yes

lambe720 wrote:Do you believe the workforce are getting value for their money from their membership subscription costs?
Yes

lambe720 wrote:Corruption is rife at the top of any business/organisation.
Well, that's a sweeping statement - straight out of the how to start a conspiracy theory handbook if I am not mistaken.

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

27 Mar 2019, 15:34

TrueBlueTerrier wrote:
lambe720 wrote:Do you know how much Dave Ward earns as General Secretary of the CWU? In 2017 his total remuneration was £116,573.
Yes

lambe720 wrote:Do you believe the workforce are getting value for their money from their membership subscription costs?
Yes

lambe720 wrote:Corruption is rife at the top of any business/organisation.
Well, that's a sweeping statement - straight out of the how to start a conspiracy theory handbook if I am not mistaken.

Well said!
I agree by comparison Ward will "earn" his money doing an extremely time consuming job, substantially out with PT hours.
I did not want to comment and take the original post off track.
I did not suggest any corruption anyway, any payments awarded to board members will be available for scrutiny and up front, somewhere. My view is they are a tad generous, but any renumeration at board level would obviously be sanctioned and above board.

New Royal Mail chairman is spread too thinly, top investor warns

01 Apr 2019, 08:41

There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of these directorial individuals who appear to just want to line their pockets and grab as many jobs as possible. Yet again Miss Ni-Chionna is at the head of this in another of her tick-box exercises. The grilling she received from the select committee headed by Rachel Reeves has not resulted in changing her ways. I'm sure she like her 85k per annum job working just a few days per month very much indeed. I think the end point will be these individuals driving RM into the ground and the mortal remains being bought up by foreign business interests.

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