* Board member in charge of parcels is new CEO
* No reason given for surprise resignation
(Adds reorganisation details)
AMSTERDAM, April 19 Dutch postal group PostNL
, under pressure to improve performance as mail volumes
decline, said on Thursday its chief executive Harry Koorstra has
resigned with immediate effect.
Herna Verhagen, a member of the board of management
responsible for parcels and international, was named the new
A PostNL spokesman declined to provide reasons for the
surprise decision by Koorstra, who left with no compensation.
"Such a decision doesn't get made overnight," Koorstra said
in a company statement issued on Thursday evening. "Co-operation
with the supervisory board has been very cumbersome of late,
amongst others in relation to differences in opinion about how
to serve best the various stakeholders' interests."
The former state monopoly is the main provider of postal
services in the Netherlands, where it faces intense price
competition and traditional mail services are losing out to
PostNL has had a rough year since hiving off its express
delivery business, TNT Express, in May 2011.
It came under fire over its poor performance and as it
warned of shortfalls in its pension funds.
Dutch media reported this week that the ongoing
reorganisation of PostNL's domestic business would be halted
until July due to problems in mail and package delivery. PostNL
is replacing thousands of mail couriers on full-time contracts
with flexible part-time workers.
As the biggest shareholder in TNT, PostNL was hit by a
plunge in TNT shares last year, from a high of 10.2 euros to as
low as 4.46 euros, forcing PostNL to write down the value of its
stake by more than 700 million euros ($920.01 million).
TNT's stock only recovered after activist shareholders
started to push for better performance and United Parcel Service
Inc launched a 5.2 billion euros takeover offer earlier
this year for the Dutch freight and delivery firm.
PostNL told Reuters last month it was considering a one-off
special dividend or share buyback after the sale of its stake in
TNT Express to UPS.
The mail group, which scrapped cash dividend payouts during
years of painful restructuring, will make roughly 1.5 billion
euros from divesting its 29.8 percent stake.
PostNL told Reuters the proceeds will first go towards
paying off 700 million euros in debt. It will use 300 million
euros to reinstate a cash dividend for 2012 and 2013, and
another 300 million to invest in operations outside the
Netherlands, it added.
That would leave roughly 200 million euros to spend on
($1 = 0.7609 euros)
(Reporting by Sara Webb and Anthony Deutsch, editing by James
Jukwey and Richard Chang)