Former Tui chief executive Peter Long has stepped up to become deputy chairman of the board of Europe’s largest travel group as part of changes at the top of the company.

He succeeds former chief executive of UK airports company BAA, Sir Michael Hodgkinson, who left the role at Tui’s 59th annual meeting yesterday.

Daimler chief executive Dr Dieter Zetsche, who was elected for a five-year term, is to succeed Klaus Mangold as Tui AG chairman in the “medium term” amid shareholder concerns about him having both roles.

Mangold said Dr Zetsche was “an outstanding and highly-regarded top manager”. “He embodies internationality and a strong feeling for the management of outstanding brands,” he said.

“The supervisory board and the executive board can greatly benefit from his extensive experience in an international group environment and his strategic impulses.

“With his election, the foundations are also being laid for change at the head of the Tui supervisory board. As planned, Dr Zetsche is to succeed me as chairman of the supervisory board of Tui AG.

“This is the wish of all members of the supervisory board of Tui AG.

“However, as long as there are concerns among some shareholder representatives that a position as chairman of the supervisory board of Tui AG cannot be reconciled with the position of chief executive of Daimler, I will continue to head the supervisory board.

“Afterwards, the supervisory board will elect Dr Zetsche and I will hand over the office to him.”

Long has been a Tui AG supervisory board member since 2016 and chairman of the company’s strategy committee.

The planned succession was announced last summer when it was revealed that Long would not become chairman of Tui, partly due to the complexities of the German governance structure.

Long, who holds a number of non-executive positions, was previously co-chief executive of Tui AG after he held the position of chief executive of Tui Travel which he led into the merger of Tui AG at the end of 2014.

Mangold added: “The entire supervisory board thanks Sir Michael Hodgkinson for his enormous personal commitment and the consistently trusting and successful co-operation.

“Sir Mike played an instrumental role in the successful post-merger integration of Tui AG and Tui Travel and contributed to the transformation and development of the new Tui Group.”