Understanding the digital age, a transformative CEO positioned Canada Post to grow in e-commerce, while making improvements in productivity to manage the decline in mail volumes.
Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post, has advised the Board of Directors that he will step down from his role on March 31, 2018.
Mr. Chopra joined the Corporation in 2011 as it was facing the challenge of responding to the dramatic decline in mail volumes with a legacy cost structure built for the pre-digital economy.
Under Mr. Chopra’s leadership, Canada Post adopted and began to execute a transformative strategy that is paying off.
Pivoting to become the leader in e-commerce delivery
By focusing on innovation and customer service, the Corporation has helped countless Canadian businesses to succeed in the digital economy. In 2011, Canada Post made a strategic decision to focus on growing through e-commerce. Since then, annual parcel revenues have grown by over $500 million, making Canada Post the country’s #1 parcel company. Few companies faced with digital disruption have reinvented themselves – but Canada Post has, in just a few years. By doing so, it is helping Canadian businesses grow through e-commerce.
This success was neither certain nor easy. Every aspect of the business needed to be rewired: from operational processes to full integration of shipping rates and tracking data with customers’ check-out processes; from working with innovative start-ups to helping mega brands introduce online stores; from launching drive-thru parcel pickups to introducing flexible delivery solutions for Canadians who are not home during the day to receive their packages.
Canada Post joined forces with retailers to reinvent itself. It continues to work with e-commerce solutions providers, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes – strengthening their ability to compete, and Canada Post’s.
Implementing significant structural changes to preserve the postal service
Improved productivity, more efficient delivery methods and tiered pricing are delivering annual savings of over $400 million.
Despite constant pressure to find efficiencies in our operations due to the unrelenting decline in Lettermail volumes, Canada Post has stayed true to its mission of serving each and every Canadian. Residents of the far north and isolated rural areas remain as critical for the postal service as any downtown address.
Profitable in 14 of the last 15 quarters
The positive financial performance occurred while mail volumes continued to decline. In 2016, the Corporation delivered 2 billion fewer pieces of mail than at its peak in 2006.
With the relentless decline of mail volumes, Canada Post would not have posted a profit in 2016, or for that matter, in 2015, if not for the ongoing, significant and positive impact of its transformational initiatives.
Over the last 18 months, Mr. Chopra has also worked to ensure those leading the government’s review of Canada Post have the detailed information they need to make informed decisions. Their important work will determine the next phase of Canada Post’s future.
When he appeared before a Commons committee last September as part of the review process, Mr. Chopra agreed that there is an urgent need to transform the business – and that Canadians want the postal service to remain strong, but not subsidized by tax dollars. He explained how growing the parcels business has benefits that go far beyond Canada Post – it meets Canadian’s needs and opens global markets for Canadian businesses.
“Canadians,” he told the committee, “clearly understand that the postal system needs to change and they aren’t afraid of what’s required to do it. They know mail isn’t coming back, but they don’t want the postal system to disappear. In fact, they want to know that this important institution is secure for generations to come.”
By informing the Board months in advance of his departure, Mr. Chopra has made it possible for Canada Post to maintain its positive momentum, with ample time to search for his successor.