Royal Mail chairman Peter Long is stepping down from that role to concentrate on Countrywide, where he is executive chairman.
He said he leaves Royal Mail with a ‘heavy heart’, but is citing the workload at embattled Countrywide.
Long has been Royal Mail’s chairman for the past three years, and took an executive role at Countrywide in January after former chief executive Alison Platt left.
At Royal Mail Long oversaw a shareholder revolt over the pay of its new chief executive. Long himself earned £300,000 at Royal Mail. His pay at Countrywide is £360,000.
Long has been criticised for ‘overboarding’ – the term used to describe directors with what shareholders perceive as too many roles on different boards, and not enough time to do one job properly. The Daily Mail had been particularly critical, labelling him a “serial part-timer”.
Its City editor Ruth Sunderland said of over-boarding that “no one, however brilliant, has the time to perform to full capacity in two very demanding positions, particularly when trouble hits”.
Countrywide shares were just below 11p this morning.