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Donahoe begins USPS restructuring with changes at the top

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The USPS has been given a top-down reshuffle to prepare for changing market forces and a continuing decline in mail volumes.

New USPS postmaster-general Pat Donahoe announced changes on Friday that will see a smaller management team, with a 16% reduction in officer-level personnel, as 41 top-rank officials were slimmed to a team of 34.

Just a few weeks after taking the top job at an organization that posted an $8.5 billion loss last year, Donahoe said the changes were particularly targeted at improving business-to-consumer services, with cost savings and stronger customer service.

In a memo to staff, he said the new structure meant a “flatter, leaner organization that has the flexibility to adapt to the coming changes”.

Donahoe said: “It is imperative that the Postal Service continue its evolution as a forward-thinking, fast-acting company capable of providing quality products and services for customers and a welcoming, diverse, professional workplace.”

Some departments have been abolished under the restructuring, with officers moved or cut. The USPS is also to close its southeast area office, in Memphis, Tennessee, with most of its southeastern district offices set to report to the southwest area office instead.

Donahoe said the changes announced today were merely the beginning of a much larger process, which will see workforce reductions and voluntary early retirements taken by the end of this fiscal quarter.

He told staff: “Change is difficult for many people, but it is imperative that the Postal Service continue its evolution as a forward-thinking, fast-acting company capable of providing quality products and services for customers, and a welcoming, diverse, professional workplace.”

Management team

Under the new corporate-style structure, Donahoe sits at the top as postmaster-general and CEO, above seven members of the executive team.

The executive team includes president and chief marketing/sales officer Paul Vogel, chief operating officer Megan Brennan, chief financial officer Joseph Corbett, chief human resources officer Anthony Vegliante, chief information officer Ellis Burgoyne and general counsel Mary Anne Gibbons.

The executive team also includes a deputy postmaster-general who is yet to be appointed, but will co-ordinate communications and policy areas.

Below the executive team, the USPS has eliminated the title of senior vice president, with various vice presidents to lead individual facets of USPS operations.

Among the new positions and functions, a single vice president of domestic products, Gary Reblin, will now lead development of both market-dominant and competitive products, with vice president of channel access Linda Kingsley co-ordinating the retail side of those products.

Susan M. LaChance becomes vice president of consumer and industry affairs, heading up all customer interaction and support, for all customers from large corporations to individual consumers.

The Information Technology department will manage all engineering technology and systems, under vice president John Edgar, and will also lead on development of new technology including Intelligent Mail systems.

Chief human resources officer Anthony Vegliante will lead all human resources functions with two vice presidents supporting – labor relations Douglas Tulino and employee resource management Deborah Giannoni-Jackson.

Donahoe told staff that he intends to create the post of chief sustainability officer to lead the “greening” of the US Postal Service, a role that will report to the deputy postmaster-general, although sustainability activities will also be coordinated by a strategy team within the USPS finance department.

Source: James Cartledge, Post&Parcel

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