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Rico Back departure is a first-class opportunity for Royal Mail

21 May 2020, 15:04

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/rico-backs-departure-is-a-first-class-opportunity-for-royal-mail

Rico Back’s departure is a first-class opportunity for Royal Mail
https---www.spectator.co.uk-article-rico-backs-departure-is-a-first-class-opportunity-for-royal-mail.pdf

From Spectator magazine issue: 23 May 2020
Martin Vander Weyer

The Royal Mail worker who rang my bell to deliver an Amazon package on Friday was wearing a glittery ball gown because she and her colleagues were fundraising for local hospitals: ‘Two thousand quid so far,’ she said cheerily as she accepted my donation and thanks. But if I had asked her what she thought of the performance of her ultimate boss Rico Back — chief executive of Royal Mail until his sudden departure after less than two years in the job — I suspect she might not even have recognised his name, so remote has this German-born, Swiss-resident big shot been from the front line of his organisation’s role in keeping us all in touch with each other during the lockdown. Back himself reportedly chose to sit it out from his ‘luxury penthouse’ in Zurich: the most colleagues had seen of him lately (a well-placed source tells me) was a talking head on Zoom ‘as if he was casting a Eurovision vote’.

But he was never going to have an easy run, having followed Dame Moya Greene, the modest Canadian who was praised for her dogged attempt to restructure postal services while keeping the strike-hungry Communications Workers Union at bay. He was damned from the start for the £5.8 million ‘golden hello’ that eased his move up from running Royal Mail’s GLS parcels business, the European arm of which he built and sold to the group — though he was never persuaded to move his home to London. He announced a £1.8 billion modernisation plan to turn Royal Mail into a world-leading parcels business but largely failed to deliver it, while the company’s shares fell to half its 2013 privatisation price.

Combine all that with a current slump in letter-post revenues and a rising threat level from the CWU, and you might think Back’s vacant office is not one any sane and ambitious executive would aspire to fill. On the contrary, I think it could be a great opportunity for a modern corporate thinker. To be fair to 66-year-old Back, he represented the breed of old-style results-driven chief that institutional shareholders thought they needed to make Royal Mail more efficient than competitors that were eating the best bits of its previous monopoly. But how often do you greet the satnav-reliant drivers of DPD or DHL as friends, the way you welcome the little red van of the local postie, whatever she’s wearing?

No other operator is woven into the social fabric and held in public affection as Royal Mail is — and that brand loyalty, re-inforced by current circumstances, ought to be an enormous advantage as e--commerce volumes continue to grow. Having looked like a lost cause when the profit motive was rampant, Royal Mail could re-emerge as a model company for the era of capitalism with social purpose.
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Rico Back departure is a first-class opportunity for Royal Mail

22 May 2020, 00:41

Royal Mail have got to move to a working team leader model in mail centres. We have another new manager when two already sit down most of the day because they find it difficult to stand anymore. Theres another doing the ill stare at you then ill move then stare at them. Then another measuring distances again from here to there with one of those wheels on a stick. I counted 15 managers for about 150 people. Royal Mail will get no where without dealing with managers first. We seem to have four doing the job of Mail Centre Manager alone. 2022 before the share price gets anywhere near £3.00 or two dividends.

Rico Back departure is a first-class opportunity for Royal Mail

22 May 2020, 01:56

teesdale wrote:Royal Mail have got to move to a working team leader model in mail centres. We have another new manager when two already sit down most of the day because they find it difficult to stand anymore. Theres another doing the ill stare at you then ill move then stare at them. Then another measuring distances again from here to there with one of those wheels on a stick. I counted 15 managers for about 150 people. Royal Mail will get no where without dealing with managers first. We seem to have four doing the job of Mail Centre Manager alone. 2022 before the share price gets anywhere near £3.00 or two dividends.

They could as well for DOs. Once everyone has headed out on their walks, do you really need more than 1 manager (who would deal with any paperwork)?

Rico Back departure is a first-class opportunity for Royal Mail

22 May 2020, 13:16

The article should have mentioned that Rico Back, and the other German currently still in post , have rarely entered the UK border and this never had anything to do with Covid 19.
Might also be worth mentioning that RM channeled the the 5.8 million freebie to Rico Black via the Netherlands to enable him to avoid paying tax on the money.

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