Royal Mail has lost its second top-level marketer in just over three months with head of marketing Fraser Chisholm following MarketReach boss Jonathan Harman out of the door after 18 years with the postal giant.
Chisholm joined the company in 2002 as channel development manager at MarketReach (then called the Mail Media Centre) from agency TMO. After two years he switched to the main Royal Mail business as senior media propositions manager before returning to MarketReach nearly five years later.
By 2012, Chisholm had been appointed head of customer marketing for stamps and collectibles, a role he also held for nearly five years. In 2017, Chisholm became head of B2B Marketing and was then appointed head of marketing last June.
He has now set up his own consultancy, Alp Marketing, which aims to advise companies on marketing strategy, planning and implementation.
On LinkedIn, Chisholm said: “I’ve decided now is the time to hang up my bag. I’m proud to have worked with numerous Royal Mail customers helping them to grow their own businesses and leading projects such as launching London 2012 Gold Medal Stamps and repositioning Royal Mail’s advertising business. I’d like to continue to put my 25 years of marketing experience to good use.”
Chisholm’s departure follows the exit of Harman, who left his job as Royal Mail Group managing director of media by mutual consent in early February.
The move was part of a major restructure which triggered a raft of departures within the business unit, including Tony Lamb, head of product and strategy at Royal Mail Data Services. He had been at the firm over 11 years.
The top-level departures come amid troubled times for the postal giant, which is bracing itself for another year of pain for direct mail. According to a report commissioned from PwC division Strategy&, volumes will crash by a further 8% over the next 12 months due to continuing economic uncertainty and the impact of GDPR and are unlikely to recover.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, New York-based broker Jefferies claimed the biggest challenge facing FTSE 250 company is its low productivity in the UK.
The firm’s analysts cut their target price for the postal giant to 170p from 220p and said the group’s UK productivity was 50% below the sector average, resulting in profitability that was 70% below average.
Overall, Jefferies’ analysts were “cautious” on Royal Mail and reiterated their “underperform” rating on the stock alongside the target price cut, citing increasing near-term margin pressures and a risk of renationalisation – a key Labour Party pledge – that was likely to keep any potential investors on the sidelines.
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