TopVet: William J. Henderson, Netflix & USPS

William Henderson

Mr. Henderson, 58, joined Netflix just last month, and is best recognized as the former postmaster general and CEO of the US Postal Service from 1994 – 2001. He was the fifth career employee to lead the world’s largest postal system, which processes, transports, and delivers more than 650 million pieces of mail to more than 130 million addresses every day.

In his new role at Netflix, Mr. Henderson will be responsible for managing the technology, automation and distribution operations that underpin the company’s rental business. He will report directly to Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings.

"Bill Henderson is about the only person on the planet who looks at our volume of mail as a trickle," said Mr. Hastings. Netflix ships over one million DVDs a day from 37 distribution centers across the U.S.

"Bill is the perfect person to ensure that our operations are inextricably linked with every aspect of the business and that our service levels are a linchpin of the Netflix customer experience," Mr. Hastings added. "We’ll look for him to extend our current competitive advantages in this area, particularly as our mail volume increases with our forecasted growth to at least 5.65 million subscribers this year and 20 million by 2010-2012."

Bridge to the Future
Henderson carries a reputation of blending the online and offline worlds in our New Economy. As postmaster general, Mr. Henderson’s achievements included dramatic improvements in customer service. He led the USPS to record service delivery for first-class mail, as independently measured by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the organization’s increased use of automation contributed significantly to five consecutive years of operating surpluses during his tenure.

Dating back to early 2001, he testified before the Senate Government Affairs Committee a reality that exists for any Internet retailer today:

"Advances in electronic communications do not negate the need for a Postal Service or for universal service. The dot-com experience has demonstrated that the ability to get product to the customer is the key online, just as it is for mail order. The digital economy must connect with the traditional one. And the Postal Service is the last mile. Yes, some others provide excellent service. But they do not touch the neighborhoods and rural communities in the way we touch them all."

Professional Accomplishments
In 1997, Mr. Henderson received the Postal Service’s John Wanamaker Award, and in 1998 he received American University’s Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership. In 1998, Mr. Henderson also received an honorary Mailing Excellence Award from the National Postal Forum for his work with the nation’s professional mailing industry.

Mr. Henderson currently serves as a director of ComScore Networks, the Committee for Economic Development, the Marrow Donor Foundation and Nature’s Best magazine. He is the chairman of the board of GMS Inc., a partner of Signature Systems, and a Fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration. Mr. Henderson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Army.

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