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29 October 2009updated 24 Sep 2015 11:01am

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Until he surfaced recently Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier had stayed strangely quiet

By Daniel Trilling

As one of the country’s highest-paid public servants – although his 2007/2008 take-home pay of £3m returned to a slimline £995,000 this year – you might have expected the Royal Mail chief executive, Adam Crozier, to take a more prominent role in the current industrial dispute. Yet, until
he surfaced on BBC1’s Andrew Marr show to tell striking postal workers to “shut up”, he had stayed strangely quiet.

This has been perceived as a public-relations disaster for the Royal Mail boss, but perhaps it was a wise move. The 45-year-old chief executive has proved all too controversial before. After working at Saatchi & Saatchi, he had a brief and unpopular stint running the Football Association, where he brought in a lot of money but failed to stop the concentration of power in the hands of a few elite clubs.

Appointed to his present position in 2003, Crozier has tried to turn the one-time public service into a profitable company. This has involved redundancies, cutting corners and increased workloads for the remaining staff. The workers don’t like it, but then that’s the way New Labour, which removed Royal Mail’s monopoly on post in 2006, has chosen to run our public services. Now, it seems Crozier’s political masters don’t like the result either – the Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle recently accused the chief exec of having “disappeared off the face of the earth”

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