By Michael Baadke
The president and chief executive officer of the Canada Post Corp., Deepak Chopra, will step down at the end of March.
Chopra was appointed to a five-year term to lead Canada’s postal system beginning Feb. 1, 2011. Shortly before the 2015 federal elections, the government led by the Conservative Party of Canada reappointed Chopra to a second five-year term.
The elections, however, resulted in a Liberal majority government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took office Nov. 4, 2015. Chopra reportedly was asked by the new government to decline the pre-election reappointment, but he has remained as head of Canada Post.
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Chopra announced in August 2017 that he will leave the crown corporation March 31.
A former executive for Pitney Bowes in Canada and Latin America, Chopra has participated in many of the events related to Canada’s new stamp releases, including the Sept. 21, 2017, unveiling of the Canada and India joint issue for the Diwali holiday, and the Oct. 20, 2017, first-day ceremony in Detroit, Mich., for the History of Hockey joint issue with the United States.
In an announcement reporting Chopra’s decision to leave, Canada Post noted that during his tenure the postal authority had “pivoted 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.”
Parcel revenues have grown by over $500 million, according to Canada Post, making it the country’s leading parcel company.
Canada Post added that it also implemented structural changes to preserve the postal service, and reported a profit in 14 of the last 15 quarters despite declining mail volumes.
Chopra’s tenure has included additional challenges. Some four months after he took office in 2011, Canada Post workers went on strike and the crown corporation responded with a lockout that ended when the federal government passed legislation forcing a return to work.
Canada Post announced a five-point action plan on Dec. 11, 2013, that introduced a two-tier pricing plan for letter-mail postage and a controversial community mailbox plan intended to replace home delivery.
The off-premises mailbox plan encountered opposition from advocates for elderly and disabled residents, and from unions representing Canada’s postal workers.
It was quickly suspended following the 2015 elections. Canada Post announced the program suspension on Oct. 26, 2015, though homes converted before then continue to receive mail in the community mailboxes already installed.
In a recent letter to Jessica L. McDonald, the chairperson of the Canada Post board of directors, Carla Qualtrough, Canada's minister of public services and procurement, outlined “a new vision for Canada Post focused on serving Canadians.”
The current posting inviting candidates for the Canada Post president and CEO opening explains, “This position reports to the board of directors, which in turn reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and works with the board and the Government of Canada in setting the corporation’s objectives and broad policies.
“The President and Chief Executive Officer will play a primary leadership role in operationalizing the new vision for Canada Post.”
Canada Post will accept applications for the position through March 9.