Monday 23 April 2018

An Post gets Mueller's stamp

EVERYONE will be wondering if Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller can bring some German efficiency to An Post.

Having just been named chairman of the semi-state, the former drill sergeant takes on the role at a time when the volume of letters and parcels handled by the company has fallen by about a third since 2008.

He also takes on the chairmanship as An Post faces increased competition from private operators such as Dublin-based Citypost and Nightline.

There's also the increased use of electronic communication chipping away at the traditional postal business. In 2011, An Post lost the exclusive right to deliver postcards and small letters in Ireland.

But having whipped Aer Lingus into shape and having faced up to unions there, Mueller certainly appears to be a commendable selection for the An Post job.

He was once the chief financial officer of DHL Worldwide and was a member of the executive committee of Deutsche Post after DHL was acquired by the German postal business.

But as politically sensitive as Aer Lingus is, especially with the Government still owning a 25pc stake in the airline, An Post presents all sorts of additional challenges. Even yesterday the Irish Postmasters' Union was saying how it welcomed a joint Oireachtas committee pledge to promote the future of An Post offices.

One suspects the chairmanship of An Post might be even more frustrating than the often difficult task of piloting Aer Lingus.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business