Allan Leighton, the former boss of supermarket giant Asda, is to step down from his role as chairman of Royal Mail next year.

Leighton, who headed Asda as chief executive during the 1990s alongside former chairman Archie Norman, will stand down from his current role by March.

Leighton has faced controversy at the helm of Royal Mail during a period characterised by branch closures and disputes with staff. However, he has also presided over a turnaround in profitability, with the postal service having previously racked up losses of up to £1m a day.

His next move is sure to be closely watched, with Leighton yet to rule out a return to the grocery sector.