Royal Mail has confirmed CEO Moya Greene will retire in September, with the boss of its GLS division taking her place from 1 June.

Greene held the role for eight years, during which time she has transformed the UK's biggest operator from an unprofitable business to a successful, listed company, and she has secured her place as one of the UK transport sector's most respected executives.

Greene oversaw the privatisation of Royal Mail in 2013, after a period of what she described as a period of “painful, difficult change” preparing the business for the change.

The year before the business was privatised Greene said: “Almost every aspect of work at Royal Mail is being transformed. We understand that we are asking a great deal of our front line colleagues, managers and representatives. We are committed to consulting fully with our people and the CWU [Communication Workers Union] on all these changes."

Royal Mail has topped the Motor Transport Top 100 since its privatisation, though last year its success was questioned when the Labour Party's election manifesto called for its return to public ownership.

CWU dispute

Another defining feature of Greene's time at the helm of the postal giant is the pay and pensions row with the Communication Workers Union.

The row over the business's pension scheme came to a head last year when the CWU scheduled strikes over the Christmas period, but was later prohibited from going ahead after a High Court injunction.


Moya Greene will retire in September

The two parties entered mediation talks and a Royal Mail secured a new deal. The resolution of the row and shaping of the new pay deal is rumoured to be one of the final things Greene needed to finish before she could leave the business.

Under Greene's supervision, the business has also started to embrace alternative fuel technologies to reduce its carbon footprint.

It recently bought 100 electric Peaugeot Partner vans, and is working with manufacturer Arrival to trial nine all-electric postal vans in London (pictured below).

Cherished institution

Greene said it had been her "pleasure and great privilege to serve as CEO of this cherished UK institution" and that she was proud of what she had achieved since joining the business in 2010.

She added: "It is very pleasing to note that around 20 per cent of this Company is owned by our employees and retail shareholders. Most of all, I am honoured to have worked alongside Royal Mail’s people and the union leadership. It is their hard work and dedication that connects households, communities and companies across the UK every day. I would like to warmly congratulate Rico and Sue, two colleagues with whom I have had the privilege of working closely with for many years.”

Royal Mail chairman Peter Long said: “Royal Mail was highly fortunate to recruit Moya, given her direct experience, strategic vision, drive and proven track record across a range of industry sectors.

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“When Moya joined in the summer of 2010, the Company was balance sheet insolvent. Since then, Royal Mail has been transformed, including our privatisation in 2013 and two significant, ground-breaking agreements with the CWU.

"Alongside the strong financial position Moya has secured for the Company, we have invested over £1.5 billion in our UK operation in recent years. We are one of the most favourably viewed brands in the UK.

“I would like to extend to Moya our sincere thanks for her tremendous contribution during a defining time for us.”


Rico Back, Greene's replacement, currently heads up Royal Mail's European parcels division GLS. The branch of the business has been integral to Royal Mail in recent years, with its growth offsetting declining letter volumes in the UK.

Back founded the business in its former guise of German Parcel, which Royal Mail bought and rebranded 10 years ago.

Back said: “I am very pleased to be appointed Group CEO and to lead a company which is so much a part of the fabric of the UK.

Royal Mail Arrival Truck image 2

Royal Mail will trial nine electric, autonomous-ready vehicles it has developed with Arrival

"I would like to thank Moya for all her support and counsel over the years and wish her well in the future.”

Long added: "Under Rico’s leadership, GLS has become the leading delivery company of its kind in Europe, making a highly valuable contribution to the wider Royal Mail Group at the same time.

“The Board believes that Rico’s track record, his strong commercial acumen and his deep understanding of the delivery industry mean he is ideally placed to lead Royal Mail"

New board member

Sue Whalley has also been appointed to the Royal Mail board ahead of Greene's departure, as the new CEO of UK post and parcels.

Formerly the regulation and government affairs director, Whalley was heavily involved in Royal Mail's privatisation and is credited by the business as having played a principle role in negotiating the operational aspects of the recent CWU agreement.

Long said: “I am delighted to welcome Sue to our Board. Sue is leading the very important transformation of our UK business. She took the principal role in negotiating the operational aspects of our recent agreement with the CWU and is leading on the implementation of all aspects of it."