THE QUIET BEFORE THE TSUNAMI: USPS Set To Change In Unpredictable Ways

If you were a gambling person, it would be reasonable to bet that the current USPS Chief Operating Officer David E. Williams will become the 75th Postmaster General.

After all, the last four PMG’s held the post of COO immediately before assuming the top spot.

So you would think this recent tradition continues.

But you likely would lose the bet.

The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors is right now narrowing its candidates to succeed retiring PMG Megan Brennan, who steps down in January — a nail biting process for postal managers, postal unions, and mailers.

Led by Chairman Robert Duncan, the Board of Governors is expected to pick an outsider, who can shake the USPS from its twenty-year bureaucratic hibernation. And whoever the next Postmaster General is, it is a certainty President Trump will approve.

The last time the BOG selected an outsider as PMG — Marvin Runyon in 1992 — the former TVA and Nissan executive took an axe to postal bureaucracy and streamlined regulations. Memories of “Carvin Marvin” remain strong. He was very popular with mailers, not so much with postal managers and unions.

Postal unions in particular fear outside appointments of “run-the-Post-like-a-business” executive types. They have become comfortable dealing with postal leadership and winning pay and benefit increases for postal workers.

But mailers tend to favor outsiders running the USPS, because they are more in sync with business attitudes when making postal policy. Many mailers we have spoken to are hoping a new chapter begins with a business leader with a strong background in technology and consumer behavior.

We will learn shortly who the new Postmaster General will be. And if it is an outsider, the quiet now enjoyed could very well turn into a Tsunami for the industry.

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