The U.S. Postal Service, an organization inextricably associated with the delivery of lots and lots of paper, is creating a new enterprise focused on the online sphere, according to a memorandum today from Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. The “digital solutions” group is intended “to better explore growth opportunities in the digital space, and to translate those opportunities into new streams of revenue, enhance the value of our current offerings, and improve customer experiences,” Donahoe told Postal Service officers in the memo obtained by Federal Times.
The venture comes as the agency is under pressure from Congress and postal employee unions to explore alternatives to service cutbacks. “We are convinced there is growth potential in this dynamic digital environment,” Donahoe said.
Heading the group will be Paul Vogel, who has been USPS president and chief marketing/sales officer. Vogel, who started with the Postal Service as a clerk and letter carrier in 1969 while working his way through college, later left for consulting work on international business and business strategies, according to his official bio. He returned to the Postal Service two years ago.
“Paul has a great track record of driving successful new initiatives within the Postal Service,” Donahoe wrote. “In addition to his excellent recent service as chief marketing/sales officer, he was instrumental in establishing our transportation partnership with FedEx, he stood up and launched our global business, and he played a vital role in early efforts to realign our operational network.”
The digital solutions group will begin “with a matrixed structure and will grow into a separate business unit over the coming year with the flexibility to explore, pursue and/or create quickly evolving digital technologies,” Donahoe continued. “Paul will be taking us into new waters in a number of ways that should generate a lot of external interest and excitement.”
Replacing Vogel as chief marketing/sales officer will be Coca-Cola executive Nagisa Manabe. At the soft drink giant, Manabe served as vice president of new growth platforms, according to Donahoe’s memo. Before that, she was vice president of marketing for Diageo Guinness USA Inc., part of the company that makes Johnnie Walker whiskey, Smirnoff vodka, and Guinness beer. Manabe “will lead our efforts to frame a new generation of ideas to better promote and grow our organization,” Donahoe said.