USPS Announces Sweeping Management Restructuring

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Postmaster general John E. Potter has implemented the most sweeping management restructuring since 1992 to bring more focus to the U.S. Postal Service's core priorities. Changes will affect both headquarters and field operations.


The reorganization includes eliminating 800 headquarters and headquarters-related staff positions as well as 20 percent of officer positions. In the field, the agency is eliminating two regional management areas, and the remaining eight areas will continue to reduce their staffs to meet their 30 percent reduction target this year.


Administrative staffing for clusters, which are subordinate to the management areas, will be reduced by 10 percent over the next 12 months. In addition, supervisory staffing will be reduced by more than 500 positions at targeted facilities.


"These changes will make us more accountable to the American people for what we do by establishing a management structure that's leaner and more easily understood," Potter said.


Early this year the agency faced the potential for a $3 billion loss from rising fuel and salary costs. Postal rates have since been increased, construction frozen and other cuts made that have reduced the potential losses to about $1.65 billion. The USPS' fiscal year ended Sept. 7, but final numbers won't be released until the end of the month.


Perhaps the most significant structural change will affect marketing and sales. A new marketing organization will be responsible for service and market development, product development, pricing and classification, and sales.


In addition, Anita Bizzoto was named new chief marketing officer and senior vice president. She had been vice president of pricing and classifications. Deputy postmaster general John Nolan had filled the position. Potter said this move will let Nolan focus on strategic issues.


Michael Jordan has been named acting vice president for sales. Steve Kearney has been reassigned from senior vice president of corporate and business development to vice president of rates and classifications.


Notable employees whose positions have been eliminated include John F. Kelly, who was president of expedited/package services. The expedited/package services division, which was based in Atlanta, will be reassigned to the USPS headquarters. John Ward, formerly vice president of core business marketing, Don Peterson, formerly vice president of quality, and Robert Krause, formerly vice president of e-commerce, also saw their positions eliminated. Pam Gibert, who was vice president of retail, consumer, and small business, retired before her postion was eliminated.


Despite doing away with the e-commerce position, USPS spokeswoman Judy de Torok said, "Mr. Potter said that we will not abandon our e-commerce activities, but we will take a close look at those activities and retain those that support the growth of our core products and those that are profitable." All e-commerce initiatives will be part of the product development group, reporting to the chief marketing officer.


Earlier this month, the agency unveiled additions to its electronic bill payment system.


In consolidating the regional areas, the Mid-Atlantic regional office in Arlington, VA, and the Midwest regional office in St. Louis will be closed. From the Mid-Atlantic region, offices in the Richmond, VA, area will be supervised from Washington, and the Carolinas, Kentucky and West Virginia offices will report to Pittsburgh. Midwestern offices will be divided between the Great Lakes region, headquartered in Bloomingdale, IL, and the Western region in Denver.


Most agency watchers called the reorganization of the executive ranks a good first step. For example, it eliminates several overlapping management positions in areas such as marketing and product development. The Direct Marketing Association had voiced its support for a reported reorganization of the agency.


"Our strategies for success remain the same: developing people; managing costs; improving service; growing revenue; and pursuing reform," Potter said. "The organizational changes support these strategies."


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