After almost a decade at the helm of TUI Group, one of the world’s largest travel operators, Friedrich Joussen announced on Friday that he would be resigning in the fall.
Sebastian Ebel, TUI Group’s CFO, will step in as new chief executive officer on October 1, 2022. The Presiding Committee of the Supervisory Board will propose to the Supervisory Board of TUI AG the appointment for a period of three years.
“When the pandemic in spring 2020 turned us into a company without a business virtually overnight, all our attention was focused on one goal: rescuing TUI,” Joussen said. “Now that the existential crisis has been mastered, the time is right for a change at the top of TUI.”
Mathias Kiep will take over the role of chief financial officer from Ebel in October, TUI said.
“The restructuring, digital transformation and rescue of TUI in the corona crisis are lasting achievements of Fritz Joussen. The acute phase of the crisis is over. With Sebastian Ebel, a strongly entrepreneurial CEO is ready for the new start after corona. Strengthening the balance sheet and profitable growth are his focus,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Supervisory Board of TUI AG.
According to the Group’s announcement, “the Supervisory Board regrets Fritz Joussen’s decision”, Joussen “is exercising a right of resignation granted in connection with the conditions of the corona stabilization measures”.
It should be noted that TUI Group is one of Greece’s key partners. Earlier this year, the leisure travel giant said it was planning to bring more than 3 million visitors to Greece in 2022 with a goal to exceed pre-Covid 2019 levels.
In May, Joussen said the tourism industry was getting back on track, adding that he expected to see the sector recoup 80 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels this year or even reach 100 percent. Joussen made the forecasts in a LiveChat to his team after Easter.
“TUI is now starting the next chapter: a return to profitable growth – of course coupled with tasks from the crisis: reducing debt, strengthening the balance sheet and the further transformation of TUI,” he said this week.
“I have now decided to hand over my role as CEO of TUI to other hands at the end of the current financial year, on 30 September. The decision is not easy for me. However, I am convinced that now is a right time for a change at the top of the Group Executive Committee and the Executive Board. In making my decision, I have been guided by several questions that I have thought about a lot over the past weeks. Fortunately, I was able to do this at a time when the existential corona crisis is over. This makes it easier to think about the future and to reflect on personal life planning, which I have of course also discussed with my family,” Joussen said in a letter to employees of the Group.