Keith Williams to be Chairman of Royal Mail

As of 22 May, current Deputy Chairman of Royal Mail Keith Williams will replace Les Owen as Chairman.

Williams has been on the Royal Mail since the beginning of last year. He was appointed Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in July 2018, and Deputy Chairman in November 2018. His appointment follows a search process led by the Senior Independent Director, Orna Ni-Chionna, with support from a leading executive search agency. A number of potential external candidates were considered.

Orna Ni-Chionna, Senior Independent Director, Royal Mail plc, said: “Our external search has confirmed that Keith Williams is the right person to chair the Royal Mail Group through a significant period of change. The Company will benefit from his strong leadership skills, and his industrial relations, operational and strategic expertise.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Les for his dedication and commitment to Royal Mail. As Chairman since September, he has provided strong leadership and steady support to the Board as we have sought to address a number of very significant challenges. We are grateful to him for stepping up into the Chairman’s role as we sought to find a long-term appointee.”

Keith Williams, Deputy Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “I am delighted to accept this role. Royal Mail has many strengths, including great brands and great people, which form a platform for future success. The fast-moving delivery market means that we need to keep changing, and at greater pace. I look forward to working with Rico Back, our Group CEO, and the senior management team as we address the significant challenges facing our business.”

Les Owen, Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “As we previously communicated, my tenure as Chairman was planned to be for a limited period only. I am delighted with the announcement that Keith will succeed me in May. Over the next two months, we will work closely together to ensure that our management team are fully supported as they address the challenges we face in the UK letters and parcels business. Keith is well known to our management, provides continuity, and has in his time on the Board developed a deep understanding of our business and its priorities.

“We are planning to further strengthen the Board in the coming months through the appointment of a number of additional Non-Executive Directors.”

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