TUI Group CEO resigns

Long-serving TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen has resigned as CEO of the company with chief financial officer Sebastian Ebel set to take over.

Joussen has been in the position since 2013 and will officially step down in September.

In a letter to colleagues, Joussen said the decision was “not easy” but that “now is a right time for a change at the top.”

Like almost every other travel company, TUI has endured a rough two years and its survival depended on a bailout by the German state. Things have, improved, however, since lockdown restrictions were lifted and the company is expecting to end this year with expect to make a profit this year.

Joussen has presided over a transformational period for TUI, which saw the merger of its German and UK-based entities, TUI AG and TUI Travel, to create one unified company.

In recent times the company has also moved away from a strategy of owning hotels and cruise ships, towards a more asset-light setup. In 2021 it sold its 49% stake in its RIU hotel property joint venture to the founding Riu family.

Ebel has held numerous positions at TUI and has worked on and off for the company since 2003. Replacing him as chief financial officer is Mathias Kiep, previously group director controlling, corporate finance and investor relations.

What They Said

Fritz Joussen, TUI CEO, said: "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. The immediate crisis management, which was about ensuring the Group's continued survival, has now been completed. We have a high level of liquidity, are no longer using state credit lines and the operating business is back: as announced, we expect a strong summer of travel almost at the level of 2019.

Under new management, 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. In addition, there are operational Corona late effects for the entire industry in these weeks, for example at the airports and in flight operations.

“Now that the existential crisis has been mastered, the time is right for a change at the top of TUI. I am delighted that Sebastian Ebel, a new CEO with whom I have enjoyed a long and trusting working relationship, is to take over. TUI is in very good hands with him. Sebastian Ebel will lead TUI back onto the growth path."