The Post Office (PO) has completed a restructuring of its senior team as pressure grows for a judicial inquiry into the actions of senior team that was in place during the Horizon scandal.
A message from chief executive Nick Read to subpostmasters said the restructure was “the starting point” for changes at the PO that would “bring our leaders closer to customers and postmasters,” ‘improve collaboration across the business’ and ‘Invest in the areas which will drive the future success of Post Office by reducing costs.’
Plans to remove layers of management between the chief executive and subpostmasters began earlier this month with the exit of Post Office retail chief executive Debbie Smith.
A graph of the new leadership structure seen by RN shows that:
- Owen Woodley – former PO financial services chief executive is now group chief commercial officer.
- Retail director Amanda Jones is group retail and franchise network director on an interim basis.
- Chief information officer Jeff Smyth retains his role on an interim basis.
- The role of group HR director Lisa Cherry has been rebranded as group chief people officer.
- Richard Taylor has been recruited for the role of group corporate affairs and communications director.
- Emma Springham has retained her role as chief marketing officer.
- Longstanding PO chief financial officer Al Cameron has retained his position and also been given the role of group operations and supply chain director on an interim basis.
- Ben Foat has retained his position as group general counsel.
- Dan Zinner, chief transformation officer is now group chief strategy and transformation officer.
The reshuffle was revealed to subpostmasters the day before a petition calling for a public inquiry into the role of the Post Office leadership team in the Horizon scandal reached 3,000 signatories in less than two weeks. It called on the inquiry to be headed up by the judge in charge of the recent case that found the PO responsible for till system errors that caused PO retailers to be accused and even convicted of fraud and theft offences.
The inquiry would investigate the competency of the Post Office’s board, senior management and investigative departments, the Government’s inability as only shareholder and a board member of the Post Office to prevent the Horizon scandal and the PO’s approach to defending its actions during the litigation.
Official trade group the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has been asked to outline its position on supporting a judicial inquiry. BetterRetailing is awaiting its response. It is understood that calls for the NFRN to support a judicial inquiry made at the organisation’s National Council meeting on 27 January have failed, despite the inquiry having the support of some national councillors at the trade group. The NFRN has been asked to explain its decision and BetterRetailing is awaiting its response.