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Postmaster General Potter to retire

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Washington, D.C.—John E. Potter, who as postmaster general since 2001 has led the U.S. Postal Service through some of its most tumultuous times, will retire from that position effective Dec. 3. He will be succeeded by Deputy Postmaster General Pat Donahue.

In recent years, Potter moved to offset massive USPS losses by trimming expenses and seeking to reduce weekly mail delivery from six days to five. His request to increase postal rates next year by an average of 5.6%—and much higher for certain kinds of commercial mail—was rejected last month by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

“I am personally sorry to see the USPS lose an able and committed leader, but I also know this brings the opportunity for further change and development,” said Hamilton Davison, president-executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association, in a statement.

Other initiatives during Potter’s tenure included the 2006 Postal Reform and Accountability Act, the postal service’s new Intelligent Mail barcode system for commercial mailings and a variety of rebate programs to encourage wider use of direct mail.

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