Royal Mail boss is fighting for a job after being called back by MPs to face a new grill
The future of the Royal Mail boss has been thrown into doubt after he was recalled by MPs to face a new grill.
Simon Thompson will be dragged before the House of Commons Business Select Committee for the second time after its chairman, Darren Jones, claimed in a letter that the answers he gave in a previous session were not can – not be “completely accurate”.
Analysts have warned the beleaguered chief executive faces ‘serious questions about his leadership’ if he is found to have misled parliament.
Questions: Royal Mail boss Simon Thompson (pictured) has been told the answers he gave in a previous session before the Commons Select Committee may not have been entirely accurate
The decision follows a deadly appearance before the committee last week when Jones said Thompson’s responses raised “serious concerns” about the company and reminded him that he would be “unappreciated” if his answers turned out to be false.
Royal Mail chairman Keith Williams, who was not at the previous hearing, was also summoned.
“This is another negative headline facing Royal Mail, which is already struggling under the weight of industrial action,” said Victoria Scholar, chief investment officer at investment platform Interactive Investor.
“There will be serious questions about [Thompson’s] leadership if it turned out that his answers in Parliament last week were incorrect.
“Sweeping change is needed at Royal Mail to reinvigorate its finances, whether it’s a spin-off, new leadership or the abolition of its Saturday delivery services.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said the company welcomed the opportunity to ‘expand on any points the committee would like clarification’ but said it saw ‘an increasingly false narrative’ over an ongoing wage dispute that she said was “designed to create fear.” and the uncertainty of our employees”.
The recall comes amid growing signs that Thompson’s authority is beginning to crumble as Royal Mail remains consumed by a bitter and long-running industrial dispute that has crippled the business and left it facing estimated losses at over £2million a day.
Things got worse earlier this month after a cyber attack put an end to its overseas delivery operations.
On Monday, representatives of around 20 major shareholders met with union bosses to try to find a solution to the disruption which has sent shares of the parent company of Royal Mail International Distributions Services (IDS) plummeting by almost 50% over the past 12 months.
News of Thompson’s recall was quickly seized by the Communications Workers Union (CWU), which represents around 115,000 postal workers, who said they “wholeheartedly” welcome the decision.
Thompson has come under attack from his predecessor Rico Back, who earlier this month criticized company management for its “confrontational” approach to strikes.
There are also lingering concerns about the motives of Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech billionaire who owns 23% of the company through his Vesa Equity vehicle.
Kretinsky is believed to still be supportive of Thompson, with rumors that he may advise him to help resolve the issues facing the company.