Mike Cooper, the man once tipped to become the next CEO of Arriva (the international bus and train operator), has been appointed as the new CEO of Yodel. He starts his new role next week, on 1 February.
Cooper resigned from Arriva in late 2014. At the time, speculation within the industry claimed he decided to leave after the incumbent CEO, David Martin, said he was delaying his retirement. Cooper had been at Arriva for almost 10 years, rising to the position of deputy CEO and European managing director. Prior to that he was group commercial director of EasyJet from 2000 to 2005. Before that he was managing director of Portland Direct, part of Thomson Travel Group (now TUI).
Cooper has extensive high-level experience within publicly listed companies – EasyJet and Thomson/TUI are PLCs, and Arriva was one until it was acquired by Deutsche Bahn, the German state-owned railway company. This may point to a future listing for Yodel, which is owned by Frederick and David Barclay, who also own Shop Direct, and the Telegraph & Sunday Telegraph newspapers. The Sunday Times Rich List 2015, estimated the Barclay Brothers’ wealth to be in the region of £6.5bn.
Commenting on the appointment, Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mike to the team. He has an impressive track record of galvanising people to deliver exceptional results and using consumer insight to drive a great customer experience. Mike will focus us still further on our ever improving service levels and provide impetus to Yodel’s growth ambitions.”
Yodel’s former CEO, Neil Lloyd left in July after spending around two and a half years in post.
Last month, Yodel announced it had successfully delivered a record-breaking number of parcels between 26 November and 2 December, covering the cyber week period, which had so troubled it the year before when it was overwhelmed by 600,000 unexpected parcels.
Yodel invested around £30m last year making improvements to its infrastructure and hiring new people, to “improve efficiency and capacity”; it also imposed limits on the number of next-day Black Friday deliveries it would accept. Both initiatives were cited by the company as reasons it was able to navigate its way through the end of year peak period in good shape.