City Link raids Royal Mail for top duo

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Rentokil Initial has chosen two Royal Mail executives to lead the recovery at its troubled parcels business, City Link.

David Smith will join the business as managing director while Robert Peto becomes finance director.

Rentokil Initial said they would join later this year from Royal Mail Group where they both played leading roles in the turnaround of Parcelforce.

David Smith joined Royal Mail Group in 2002. Since the end of 2010 he has been a member of the Holdings Board where he has served as chief customer officer for Royal Mail Group responsible for the commercial direction of the UK Letters, Parcels and International Business.

Previous roles include managing director of Post Office Ltd and managing director of Parcelforce. He also held senior roles at RS Components UK.

Robert Peto has served as finance director of Parcelforce since 2006 He joined Parcelforce in 2003 as financial controller. Before that he worked at Geopost (UK) for nine years where his roles included financial controller, international express financial controller and management accountant for Parceline.

In December City Link managing director Stuart Godman resigned from the business by mutual agreement, and Alan Brown, chief executive of Rentokil Initial, took over day to day management responsibility for City Link until a successor could appointed.

In its annual results released in February, Rentokil Initial has blamed the parcel carrier’s worsening losses on poor operational management.

The carrier made an operating loss of £9.6m in 2010 – £4m worse than the corresponding loss in 2009 on sales which were five per cent down at £335.5m.

In its preliminary statement, Rentokil Initial said: “The principal issue was that operational management of the business was poor, evidenced by high usage of subcontractors, inadequate contingency planning to deal with extreme conditions and poor engagement of front line colleagues.”


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