Terry Fisher has resigned from Thomas Cook just six months after accepting a new expanded role with the group as head of scheduled services, Travel Weekly understands.
Fisher, who joined the travel giant when Gold Medal was bought by Cook in 2008, was seen as a key player in a restructure announced in June.
He took on responsibility for the big two’s Pure Luxury, Gold Medal, Cresta, Netflights.com, Thomas Cook Tours and Elegant Resorts brands.
The recent merger of Cook’s retail division with The Co-operative Travel has prompted a further shake up at management level, although Fisher was expected to remain in post.
Fisher is one of the travel industry’s most successful entrepreneurs having set up travel agency chain Travelworld in 1982 when he was aged just 19.
By the time he sold this business to Airtours in 1998, when he became managing director of Going Places, it had grown to 130 shops.
Fisher took time out from running travel businesses for five years after 2001 during which time he lived abroad, but was tempted back to Gold Medal in 2006, becoming managing director.
He was credited with turning round the fortunes of Gold Medal during his time in charge as the consolidator transformed into a long-haul, luxury tour operator.
In 2007/08 Gold Medal recorded a profit of £6.4 million, reversing a £1 million loss it had made in the 2005/06 financial year.
In December 2008 Ken Townsley, owner of the Preston based operator, penned a deal with Cook to sell 50.1% of the operator for £25 million.
The remaining 50% of Gold Medal was eventually also sold to Cook the following March in a deal estimated to have been worth £87 million.
In 2009 Fisher’s success was recognised by his peers when he was awarded the Business Achievement Award by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame.