SingPost is bidding farewell to its group chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Coutts after four years. In a late-night filing with the Singapore Exchange on Monday (31 May), it was announced that Mr Coutts, 64, has resigned to “pursue other opportunities”.

Effectively immediately, Mr Coutts is no longer a Non-Independent Director of SingPost, though he will remain as group CEO until 31 August 2021 or sooner to facilitate a handover.

The group board chairman Simon Israel will oversee the senior management leadership team in the interim.

In the media statement, it was noted that the SingPost Board and Mr Coutts agreed that a leadership renewal would happen in 2021, a process that had already begun with the Board considering internal and external candidates to replace Mr Coutts.

The group said it would announce the appointment of a new group CEO in due course. In the meantime, it noted that it will “continue to execute its strategic road map, and the board has confidence in the remaining leadership team to do so”.

On 1 Jun 2017, SingPost appointed Paul Coutts as the new CEO.

SingPost said Coutts has more than 20 years of experience in “C-suite positions at major global logistics and postal companies”. He is said to have attended several business executive programmes at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and London Business School.

Before that, he was CEO of Toll Global Forwarding since 2013, based in Singapore as well.

“When I joined, the board had tasked me to resolve legacy issues, reimagine the postal landscape in Singapore, reposition the group for profitable, accelerated growth in e-commerce logistics and, finally, build a new leadership team and put in place a succession plan,” said Mr Coutts in the statement.

“Having delivered on those objectives and worked with the executive team in setting SingPost’s strategic course for the next five years, I believe the time is right for someone new to lead the execution of that strategy and the next stage of SingPost’s transformation journey. I leave the group in good hands and with a bright future ahead.”

In the statement, SingPost had also highlighted the recently completed review of lapses in its internal procedures and protocols last year during Mr Coutts tenure.

SingPost said the lapses were brought to the Board’s attention in February 2021, relating to the engagement of an adviser for certain Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries of the group.

The statement noted that the review found no dishonestly, fraud or criminal activity in connection with the engagement, adding that no personal gain or benefit to Mr Coutts was identified and that there also hasn’t been any financial loss or material impact to the group.

SingPost said that the lapses it identified were neither “systemic nor material” to the group as a whole and that appropriate measures have been taken to address non-compliances to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Since Mr Coutts came on board, SingPost’s share price has been sliding downwards. Its share price was $1.28 on 4 Jun 2017 at the time he joined SingPost. At the time of this post, SingPost’s share price had already gone below $1 at $0.74, losing about 42%.

 

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