Post master: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene is one of only seven female FTSE 100 bosses

BIG SHOT OF THE WEEK: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene

Post master: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene is one of only seven female FTSE 100 bosses

Post master: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene is one of only seven female FTSE 100 bosses

Good things come in small packages they say.

Take Royal Mail boss Moya Greene, that compact bundle of energy responsible for dragging our dwindling postal service into the 21st century.

With her blonde bob and mumsy pearls, she might look like a loveable TV agony aunt, but she’s one of the City’s most effective operators, a ruthlessly efficient machine bent on grinding out results.

‘The best hire I ever made,’ is how former Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon describes the feisty Canadian.

She is one of only seven female FTSE 100 bosses and the first female chief in Royal Mail’s 500-year history, though it’s another milestone that earns Greene a place in the annals.

Four years ago she succeeded where those other big beasts Lords Mandelson and Heseltine failed, by delivering Royal Mail into the private sector.

In an era where more of us now prefer to correspond via email than ‘snail mail’ and other low-cost parcel delivery services available to customers, for her to have put a previously unsellable firm in a position to float on the stock market in just three years was quite a feat.

But then ask around, and the word ‘tenacious’ is often used when describing the redoubtable Greene. She owes her steel to a robust upbringing in Newfoundland, where she was born the second of four children to a DIY shop-owning father and special education teacher mother, who raised her offspring under the dictum: ‘Never let anything go to your head.’

After studying law, Greene joined the Canadian Civil Service before rising to deputy minister of Transport Canada, where she oversaw the privatisation of CN Rail and deregulation of the country’s airlines.

In 1996, she entered the private sector, joining brokerage firm TD Securities, moving on to be appointed vice-president of engineering firm Bombardier in 2003.

In 2005, having established herself as one of Canada’s most powerful female executives, she was named chief of Canada Post.

Her five-year tenure was marked by particularly sour relations with Canada’s postal union, after cutting costs by reducing absenteeism and increasing automation. The brothers soon came to refer to her as ‘Darth Vader’.

But after trebling profits to £183million, there was no denying her results.

When Adam Crozier announced he was departing Royal Mail in 2010, and with a coalition government desperate to get it off the public books, Greene’s name was top of the list to take over.

After suffering £49million annual losses prior to privatisation, profits at Royal Mail this year stand at £335million.

Royal female: Greene chats to the Duchess of Cambridge as part of an initiative for mental health charities in April this year

Royal female: Greene chats to the Duchess of Cambridge as part of an initiative for mental health charities in April this year

But Greene’s journey hasn’t all been plain sailing.

More than 3,000 jobs have been shed on her watch, leading to inevitable clashes with the unions.

Customers grumble over the 65p cost of a postage stamp, which has increased over 30 per cent in her seven years as boss.

And the stock market float was pretty shambolic, with complaints the initial share price of 330p was too low (shares are currently trading just shy of 400p), though that was hardly Greene’s fault.

There have also been the inevitable rows over pay. Before Royal Mail was privatised, her basic £500,000 a year salary made her the highest paid civil servant in the country.

A political storm also forced her to hand back a £250,000 moving allowance which she used to buy her three-bedroom flat in Fulham.

To be fair, her current £1.5million package now makes her one of the lowest-paid bosses on the FTSE 100.

Married to husband Roger, with a grown-up daughter from a previous marriage, Greene now claims to be converted to the British way of life.

She hops around town on red buses and enjoys bracing weekend walks in the countryside.

She reads poetry, particularly Robert Frost and Ted Hughes, which during her busy schedule she finds easier to digest than novels.

Last month, she was appointed to the board of Easyjet, tasked with helping find a replacement for Dame Carolyn McCall, who is departing for ITV.

As a former transport minister with experience in dealing with unruly unions, some think EasyJet chairman John Barton’s ideal candidate could now be staring him in the face across the boardroom table.

Don’t be surprised if another big job is currently in the post.

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Posted on; DailyMail>>

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