Sky News has learned that Simon Thompson, who has worked for companies including Apple, Honda, Lastminute.com and Wm Morrison, are to be named the next general manager of the former state monopoly.
Mr. Thompson is already a non-executive director on Royal Mailboard of directors, having been a director of the company since November 2017.
He is “a global business leader with proven expertise in the digitalization of business and customer experience”, according to Royal Mail, and for over a year he has been the appointed member of the board responsible for the employee engagement.
Sources said his appointment as UK chief executive is expected in the coming days, nearly eight months after the group’s chief executive, Rico Back, left after an unfortunate period at the helm.
Mr. Thompson’s last executive role was as product manager at Ocado, the grocery delivery group he left last year.
He then spent several months developing the NHS COVID-19[feminine[feminine Test and Trace app as general manager.
Mr Thompson’s appointment as UK Managing Director, overseeing Royal Mail’s courier and parcel operations, will remove another of the uncertainties investors face in the wake of last year’s unrest.
The company made a crucial announcement in December that it had reached a deal with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to end a two-year wage dispute.
As part of the deal, Royal Mail staff will receive a 2.7% pay rise from April of last year, with an additional 1% from April.
The group benefited from the surge in parcel volumes but was hit by a sharp drop in its mail activity – two trends that accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have the opportunity to focus Royal Mail on what our customers want today – an ever increasing need for more parcels, while providing a sustainable courier service,” said Keith Williams, Acting Executive Chairman of Royal Mail, when the CWU deal was announced.
“This deal provides a framework for doing just that, but the proof will be in the pudding.
“We took too long to adjust in the past and now we need to make changes much faster. ”
Mr. Williams is expected to return to a non-executive role when Mr. Thompson takes office.
On Sunday evening, it was not clear whether Stuart Simpson, who has been Royal Mail’s acting managing director since last May, would remain with the company.
Mr Thompson will not be responsible for GLS, Royal Mail’s profitable European parcel delivery operation, which is now headed by Martin Seidenberg.
Following Mr Back’s departure last year, Royal Mail’s board of directors abolished the role of group CEO, with the two division heads reporting to the board.
The company’s shares have rallied sharply in recent months and closed at 360.3p on Friday, marking a 60% rise in the past year.
The executive directors have not received any bonuses for 2019-2020, although it is not clear whether they will be eligible for the awards this year.
Royal Mail was privatized by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2013, when then-business secretary Vince Cable launched the company at 330 pence a share.
It now faces a host of challenges, including the loosening of its relationship with the Post, its former sister company, and growing competition from rivals, including Amazon.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman declined to comment.