Royal Mail names NHS Test and Trace app boss Thompson as next chief executive

Royal Mail has appointed the boss of the NHS Test and Trace app, Simon Thompson, as its next chief executive.

The company told investors that the former Ocado executive, who has been managing director of the NHS Test and Trace app during the pandemic, will take up the role with immediate effect.

It comes almost eight months after previous boss Rico Back announced his departure from the postal giant after less than two years at the helm.

Mr Thompson’s appointment comes after a tumultuous year for Royal Mail, which last month agreed a pay deal with the Communication Workers Union (CWU), ending a two-year dispute.

The move is part of a raft of leadership changes which also sees Keith Williams, who had led the company as executive chairman since May, move into a non-executive role.

Royal Mail said Martin Seidenberg, chief executive of logistics firm GLS, will join the board from April.

Mr Thompson said: “Against the backdrop of a challenging year, our colleagues have once again demonstrated the invaluable service they provide for our communities up and down the country.

“Looking ahead, we need to build on the great trust we have on the doorstep. We need to develop a razor-sharp focus on the customer, making sure our services are delivering exactly what our customers need and want. And we need to explore new opportunities for growth.

“We now have a unique opportunity to grow our business, and I look forward to working with our colleagues and stakeholders to take this great company forward.”

Mr Williams said: “Royal Mail in the UK is in a period of significant transition and needs to move quickly, put the customer at the heart of everything we do, and adapt our business to better serve changing customer needs.

“Simon has been a non-executive director of the group since November 2017 and already has significant knowledge of the group and its operations.

“He also has a wealth of experience, both in digital transformation and customer experience, and is ideally placed to lead the opportunity to grow and expand our UK parcels business and to meet our customers’ needs across both letters and parcels.”