USPS Marketing Exec Robert Bernstock Resigns

As an innovator of packaging and postal solutions, I have learned all about the strict regulations of the United States Postal Service. As an entrepreneur, I often find these rules, established to prevent vendor favoritism, frustrating, time-consuming, and generally counterproductive to the growth of the mail industry. On the other hand, those strict rules level the playing field, allowing growing companies like mine to compete with industry incumbents.

Robert Bernstock just learned the hard way that the USPS doesn’t tolerate playing by your own rules. Mr. Bernstock recently stepped down from his post as the VP of Mailing and Shipping Services after less than two years on the job. Mr. Bernstock joined the USPS with much fanfare. His private-sector background leading Campbell’s Soup and Scotts Miracle-Gro, among others, promised to re-invigorate slumping mail volumes.

Well, it turns out Mr. Bernstock’s private-sector bad habits got him into some public-sector trouble. Investigations by the Office of Inspector General have uncovered numerous ethics infractions, including granting millions of dollars of no-bid contracts to companies with whom he held board positions, and using USPS computers and staffers to conduct outside business. You can read the details here at The Washington Post, or dig into the full report from the Office of Inspector General.

In the two years under Mr. Bernstock’s watchful eye, mail volumes continued to stagnate and slump. “Summer Sale” promotions he was responsible for largely flopped, and his “If it fits, it ships” promotion of Priority Mail never made much sense to me as it put them in head-to-head competition with FedEx and UPS, a clear bloodbath of price competition.

The USPS needs to sail into the Blue Ocean by focusing on their strengths, creating new opportunities that make the competition irrelevant. The USPS knocks at every household and business in the America six times a week. They need to create additional revenue streams beyond delivering a shrinking stack of mail.

-Bob Makofsky at


2 responses to “USPS Marketing Exec Robert Bernstock Resigns

  1. Morph Muscle Builder

    I am not the sort to take the time placing comments on individuals blogs generally but right after stumbling across yours I thought I’d shoot a quick note to give me a break from working. Obviously I’ve become a little sidetracked after sticking around to browse some of your posts. Impressive stuff here and I’ll be back in the future to read more. Thanks!

  2. victoria davila

    I’ve been researching corruption in the USPS and found your article when I googled Robert Bernstock. I was touched by your statement, “Robert Bernstock just learned the hard way that the USPS doesn’t tolerate playing by your own rules”. It needs correction. The USPS DID tolerate his actions and only exposed him after they were forced to. The OIG report points to “many” high level USPS officers bending the rules and covering up for him throughout his 2 years there. Good story, just don’t give the USPS credit where it doesn’t deserve it…they tolerated it and then tried to cover it up…persistent newspaper reporters deserve the credit here. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s