Alice Perkins is to stand down as Chairman of Post Office Ltd after four years overseeing the transformation of one of the UK's most important businesses.
She has decided to announce this now to allow ample time for the recruitment of her successor and a handover period before she stands down in July.
She has overseen the separation of Post Office Ltd from Royal Mail and the formation of the independent business following the Postal Services Act 2011.
During this period it has successfully embarked on the most ambitious transformation programme in its history, with more than 3,000 branches now offering longer opening hours and improved customer experience. At the same time, the unique Post Office network has remained at its most stable for decades, providing key products and services in more than 11,500 communities across the UK.
Ms Perkins said: "It is a great privilege to be the Chairman of this newly independent company. I care a great deal about the Post Office's health and future and take considerable satisfaction from the contribution which I have been able to make to setting up the business as an organisation in its own right. Independence has given the Post Office energy and focus. It is more capable and confident than it was in the summer of 2011. It has a clear view of what it needs to do to become financially sustainable - as it must - and is better equipped to achieve that goal."
An appointment to replace Ms Perkins will be made in line with guidelines for public appointments.
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “I would like to thank Alice for the significant contribution she has made and is making to strengthening and stabilising Post Office Ltd. Not only has she led the successful separation of the company from Royal Mail, but she is overseeing a Post Office which is going from strength to strength in terms of transforming its network, expanding further in areas like financial services, and preparing the ground for a potential future mutualisation.”
About the Post Office
The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.
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