Nick Longman, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, has left the business after 20 years to join “another travel company” in the summer.
Longman told Travel Weekly that the job of Tui UK & Ireland managing director was “arguably the biggest job in travel” and “one you don’t give up lightly”.
He declined to reveal which company he was joining, but said it was time to take on a new challenge, and that he had been keen to leave before he stopped enjoying his role.
He said: “I have absolutely loved my job. I am passionate about the product and had a great team of people.
“The business is in great shape and we’ve just done our new strategic plan, which is looking really good, so for all those reasons I am sad to be leaving.”
Longman said he had worked consistently for 30 years and so would take the next few months to “recharge his batteries”.
“I reckon I have one more big job in me,” he said.
David Burling, chief executive of Tui Northern Region, will oversee the UK and Ireland division until a new managing director is appointed.
Sources close to the company suggested financial director Robert Coldrake could be in the running for the top job.
A Tui statement said: “Under Longman’s leadership, Tui UK & Ireland has achieved commercial success, launched two cruise ships, seen developments in the retail estate, the e-commerce programme and contact centre operations, and he led the business through the rebrand [from Thomson] to Tui.”
Longman, who trained as an accountant, has held various leadership roles in the business since 1998, joining as head of audit for First Choice.
Members of the UK & Ireland board will report into David Burling until a new managing director is appointed.
Burling said: “Nick has been a fantastic colleague and has continually strived to do the best for the business and all those who work for it.
“I want to thank him for his support and thank him for all he’s done and wish him the very best for the future.”
Longman held various leadership roles in the business since 1998, joining as head of audit for First Choice. Longman’s roles include becoming the integration director for the merger of Thomson and First Choice in 2006 and UK distribution director in 2008, overseeing the move to direct distribution and the growth of online sales.
At the beginning of June 2015 Longman became managing director of Tui UK & Ireland.