Postmaster general to step down next month

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Postmaster General John Potter will retire December 3 after nearly a decade as the US Postal Service's leader. Patrick Donahoe, currently the deputy postmaster general and COO of the USPS, will succeed him.

USPS experienced substantial drops in mail volumes during Potter's tenure as the country began to rely more and more on electronic communications. This led to significant decreases in revenue as well. Potter announced a 10-year plan to restore financial stability at the organization after the USPS saw a $3.8 billion net loss for its 2009 fiscal year. The USPS lost about $6 billion in its 2010 fiscal year, which ended September 30.

Potter also led the USPS through the post-September 11 anthrax attacks.

Donahoe became deputy postmaster general in 2005 after serving in a number of senior management positions in operations and human resources at the USPS.

Hamilton Davison, president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association, said in a statement that Potter was “the most effective postmaster general I have witnessed in more than two decades of following postal affairs.” He called the choice of Donahoe to succeed him “a very wise one.”

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