Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to Retire, Megan Brennan Becomes the First Woman to Lead USPS
WASHINGTON, DC—November 14, 2014—The United States Postal Service Board of Governors announced today that Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe has decided to retire February 1, 2015, after 39 years with the Postal Service.
At a public meeting of the Board of Governors this morning, Mickey D. Barnett, Chairman of the Board, called Donahoe a visionary leader who worked tirelessly to move the organization forward during one of its most difficult periods.
"Pat was the calm in the financial storm. He ignored the naysayers and went forward with his team and built a comprehensive plan for the future of the organization, made tough decisions, and executed against those decisions," said Barnett. "That's a testament to the great team he built and his own personal leadership."
Donahoe became Postmaster General during a severe financial crisis, the result of an inflexible business model that limited the organization's ability to respond to declining First-Class Mail volumes. Donahoe created an integrated financial plan and took aggressive measures to control costs—including the rationalization of mail processing, delivery and Post Office operations. These changes have significantly lowered the cost base of the Postal Service.
Commenting on the fact that the Postal Service has roughly 220,000 fewer employees today than it did in 2004, Barnett noted that "no other organization has restructured itself so dramatically and on such a large scale, and continued functioning at such a high level. And it did so without relying upon employee lay-offs."
Barnett continued, "That's the result of Pat taking responsible steps to ensure that changes don't come at the expense of those who have made their career at the Postal Service. There were plenty who argued for layoffs and other dramatic steps and Pat was always the voice that argued for doing the right thing for the organization and the employees—and that's a tremendous legacy. Pat's leadership and advocacy for the organization has been remarkable. He has been an excellent strategist for the organization and the mailing industry it serves."
Donahoe served as a constant cheerleader for mail as a marketing channel and pushed for more integration between mail and digital communications in the mailing industry. Under his leadership, the Postal Service launched several new mailing products and enhancements including Every Door Direct Mail which has generated more than $1 billion in new revenue. Donahoe also guided the organization's shipping and package strategies to capitalize on the rapid increase of e-commerce. In the last few years, the Postal Service has seen double digit growth each year in its package business.
Speaking this morning, Donahoe said he believes the organization is headed in the right direction, but still has a long way to go. "The organization has a lot of momentum right now, and we're doing a lot to innovate and improve the way we serve the public and our customers," stated Donahoe. "The nature of delivery is changing dramatically and the Postal Service will continue to be an important part of those changes."
Appointed Postmaster General by the Postal Service Board of Governors in October, 2010, Donahoe began his 39-year USPS career as a clerk in Pittsburgh, PA while attending college at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his appointment as the organization's top officer, he served as Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer.
"Working for a brand that touches every citizen of this great country every day has been a tremendous honor," relayed Donahoe. "It's always difficult to walk away from something you love and have a lot of passion for, but knowing that the organization is moving forward with a strong plan and lot of momentum makes it easier."
A native of Pittsburgh, Donahoe and his wife have two children and two grandchildren.
Replacing Donahoe as the 74th Postmaster General and CEO will be Megan J. Brennan, the current COO of the Postal Service.
Speaking at a public meeting of the Board this morning, Mickey D. Barnett, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, praised Brennan—who will become the first woman to be Postmaster General—as the ideal choice to replace Donahoe.
"Megan has demonstrated outstanding vision, leadership and executive ability in her role as COO, and has been extraordinarily successful in managing the operations of the Postal Service," said Barnett. "She is highly regarded throughout the Postal Service and among the broader community of our major customers and business partners—and rightly so."
As COO, Brennan is responsible for the day-to-day activities of 491,000 career employees working in more than 31,000 facilities supported by a fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles. She is responsible for all Postal Service operations, including mail processing, transportation, delivery and retail operations.
"As the head of operations, Megan has led important initiatives to provide Sunday delivery services, improved tracking, and greater predictability and reliability," relayed Barnett. "She has also been highly successful in rationalizing our mail processing, delivery and retail operations."
Barnett also commended Brennan’s role in maintaining high-delivery performances in the face of a significant and continued reduction in workforce and resources. "Megan has managed some very large, complex organizational changes and the Postal Service never missed a beat in terms of meeting customer expectations," added Barnett. "She instills great confidence in the ability of the organization to succeed and achieve its business goals."
Brennan commented on her new position: "I am deeply honored and humbled to take on this role at such an exciting time for the organization. The Postal Service plays a vital role in America’s society and economy and I’m looking forward to strengthening that role and meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving marketplace in the years ahead."
Brennan was named COO and executive vice president in December 2010. Reporting directly to the Postmaster General, Brennan has led the continuous improvement of the postal network operation, as well as the allocations of people and resources.
Previously she was vice president of Eastern Area Operations. As the senior postal official she oversaw an area that encompassed Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, Central and South Jersey, Western New York and parts of Virginia and Indiana. A 28-year veteran of the Postal Service, Brennan served as vice president of Northeast Area Operations from May 2005 until being named vice president of Eastern Area Operations.
Brennan joined the Postal Service in 1986 as a letter carrier in Lancaster, PA, and began her management career as a delivery and collection supervisor. Brennan is a graduate of Immaculata College in Pennsylvania. She is a Sloan Fellow and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.