Les Owen to be Chairman at Royal Mail

Former Chief Executive of AXA Sun Life Insurance Les Owen is to be non-executive Chairman of the Royal Mail plc board. He replaces Peter Long from immediate effect.

Long has other commitments, and has moved from non-executive to executive Chairman at Countrywide plc so has had to step down from his current role at Royal Mail.

Since taking on the role, Long has been involved in a major time of change at Royal Mail, seeing through industrial relations issues and the major change programme at the postal operator. He has refreshed the Board and overseen the succession planning, appointment and transitioning of the Chief Finance Officer, Stuart Simpson, and the Group Chief Executive Officer, Rico Back.

Orna Ni-Chionna, Senior Independent Director, Royal Mail plc said: “I would like to thank Peter for his strong leadership of the Board over the past three years. We understand why he has chosen to step down at this time and we wish him all the best. We are fortunate to have an individual of Les Owen’s calibre and experience to step into the Chairman’s role with immediate effect. Les has a deep understanding of our business and the challenges we face.”

The new Chairman Les Owen joined the board in 2010 and has been a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee. He chaired the Pensions Committee during the key review of Royal Mail’s pension arrangements.

After working at AXA insurance, Owen has been a non-executive director at a number of listed companies in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

Les Owen, Chairman, Royal Mail plc, said: “I would like to thank Peter for his significant contribution over the past three years. I look forward to working with Rico and my Board colleagues as we focus on implementing our strategy in the UK and overseas.”