Consignia, Britain's recently rebranded Post Office, rudderless since the contract of former chairman Neville Bain expired on 31 December, will today announce the appointment of a temporary helmsman.

Taking the tiller of the lossmaking state-owned corporation is existing board member Allan Leighton, former chief executive of the UK’s third largest supermarket group Asda until its takeover in 1999 by Wal-Mart of the USA.

The multi-hatted tycoon will juggle the management of Consignia, one of the UK’s largest organisations, alongside his other day jobs – which include chairing high street retail chain Bhs, etailer and housebuilder Wilson Connolly.

However, Leighton’s tenure of the Consignia chair will be limited to three to four months, say insiders, plugging the gap until the Department of Trade and Industry appoints a permanent successor.

Meanwhile his brief, as the group prepares to downsize its urban post office network and counter increased competition in mail deliveries, is to support Consignia chief executive John Roberts.

News source: Financial Times