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Two Royal Mail bosses to leave after agreement with union

Royal Mail reached an agreement with its main union in July (Ben Birchall/PA)
Royal Mail reached an agreement with its main union in July (Ben Birchall/PA)

Two top executives at Royal Mail who were close to the company’s recent long-running dispute with its unions are going to leave in the New Year.

In an email to employees, the boss of parent company International Distributions Services said the delivery firm would part ways with its chief operating officer and chief people officer.

HR boss Zareena Brown has a new job lined up which starts in March, said IDS chief executive Martin Seidenberg, while operations head Grant McPherson will be replaced in January.

Black Friday
Grant McPherson will leave after the peak Christmas period, the business said (Peter Byrne/PA)

In his email Mr Seidenberg did not say whether Mr McPherson was moving on to another role.

“A few months ago Grant McPherson informed me that he was planning to move on from his role as chief operating officer after peak,” he wrote to staff.

“I am hugely grateful for Grant’s dedication and absolute commitment to turning around Royal Mail over the last couple of years.”

Mr McPherson will be replaced by his deputy Alistair Cochrane, who joined IDS in October from rival Whistl UK.

Ms Brown, who has been with Royal Mail since October 2021, will become global chief human resources officer at a FTSE 100 business, Mr Seidenberg said. It is currently recruiting for her successor.

It bookmarks a turbulent time for the delivery company. Mr Seidenberg himself is new in the role, taking over the reins in August from Dutch subsidiary GLS Group.

Just a month earlier, and before his appointment was announced, members of the Communication Workers Union voted to end a long-running pay dispute with the business.

More than 115,000 workers had been on strike for a total of 18 days during the industrial action.

As the top human resources person at Royal Mail, Ms Brown was a key figure, Mr Seidenberg said.

“Zareena is an exceptional leader who has overseen significant changes during a challenging period, including agreeing changes as part of the CWU agreement that will put Royal Mail in a much stronger position to compete and grow.

“Zareena has also successfully spearheaded initiatives on important topics such as diversity, health, wellbeing and recruitment.”

In October the John Lewis Partnership announced that it had hired Martin Gafsen, who had been property and facilities director at Royal Mail for 16 years.