Postmaster General John E. Potter to Retire
WASHINGTON - After nearly 10 years as U.S. Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service, John E. Potter yesterday announced that he will retire on Dec. 3, after 32 years of service.
The Governors of the Postal Service named Patrick R. Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Potter.
A New York City native, Potter is credited with modernizing management, introducing long-term, strategic thinking necessary in a complex and changing marketplace, and transforming the Postal Service into a service-driven customer-focused and cost-sensitive organization.
Potter's accomplishments include:
- Eliminating more than $20 billion in costs during the last 10 years, with cumulative savings of more than $50 billion.
- Building a leaner, more flexible workforce and increasing efficiency and productivity through technology and the expansion of automation in mail processing and delivery.
- Reducing career employment from 787,000 positions in 2001 to about 584,000 today through attrition, using strong and focused management practices.
- Leading the Postal Service and the nation through the anthrax terrorist attack following 9/11.
- Creating a 10-year action plan that is a blueprint for necessary operational, legislative and regulatory changes to the current business model to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come.
Potter expressed his pride in the performance of the men and women of the Postal Service, saying its accomplishments resulted from the thousands of employees who dedicated themselves to meeting customer needs in a rapidly changing technological and communications environment.
"I fully appreciate their support in maintaining the tradition of trust that dates back to Benjamin Franklin and the founding of our nation," Potter said. "It is our people that define our organization and it is their dedication and sense of purpose that drives our business."
Louis J. Giuliano, Board of Governors chair, noted Potter's many accomplishments in thanking the Postmaster General for his years of service.
"You have been a steadying and far-sighted leader throughout a period of dynamic change in America's use of the mail and during times of economic uncertainty," Giuliano said. "The hallmark of your success was your ability to build respectful relationships with all stakeholders, customers and employees that established a trusted level of credibility. We unreservedly regard your tenure as one of great accomplishment."
Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General, will become the 73rd Postmaster General in December. Potter credits Donahoe and his entire service team with regularly exceeding demanding performance goals and setting new records for on-time delivery and operational efficiency.
Donahoe began his career as a clerk in Pittsburgh in 1975, and in 2001, became responsible for all facets of mail operations, including processing delivery, retail, engineering, transportation and facilities. He has served in a variety of senior management positions in operations and human resources before becoming Deputy Postmaster General in 2005.
Giuliano cited Donahoe's outstanding performance as one of the main reasons the Board chose Donahoe to build on the Postal Service's achievements and lead the organization through a changing business environment.
"Pat and Jack have been a very effective team," Giuliano said. "We're very sorry to see Jack leave, but we're grateful for the significant contributions his transformative approach to our organization and the nation it serves. We wish him nothing but the best in the future."
Donahoe said he appreciated the confidence of the governors in naming him the next Postmaster General.
"It's been an honor to serve with Jack," Donahoe said. "Our challenge going forward is to implement the ambitious plan now in place to assure the continued viability of the Postal Service in fulfilling its mission of providing reliable, self-supporting, universal mail service to our nation. While we are confronted by challenges, I am confident we will succeed."