Royal Mail's chief executive Rico Black has stepped down from his position with immediate effect, the company said this morning.

Mr Black's departure comes as Royal Mail revealed that revenue from UK parcels, international and letters dropped by £22 million in April when compared to the same month last year.

He will be replaced by a duo of Keith Williams, who becomes interim executive chairman, and Stuart Simpson, who will be the chief executive until a permanent replacement can be found.

Mr Black leaves the job after agreeing his departure with the board.

Chairman Keith Williams said: "Rico Back has made a significant contribution to the evolution of our business over his 20 years with us, particularly in building our international parcels business and developing our group strategy, which recognised the urgent need for change to create a sustainable business for the future.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to extend my thanks to Rico and wish him well in the future."

Mr Back said: "It has been a privilege to lead a company that is so much a part of UK life at this crucial time in its history. I am proud of what I, together with our dedicated and loyal team, helped to build in Royal Mail and GLS.

"I look forward to seeing Royal Mail transform into a parcels-led, international delivery company, that continues to touch the lives of millions across the world."

A spokesman for Communication Workers Union said “The change of CEO by Royal Mail Group must now bring about a total change in strategy and direction. Postal workers have been outstanding during this pandemic and are ready to embrace innovation, new products and building on their role in every community in the UK. It is absolutely critical that the new CEO wants to work with the CWU to overcome the challenges we all face and deliver the postal service the public and our members deserve."