THOMAS Cook announced the resignation of its chief executive following a disastrous year for the holiday giant.
Manny Fontenla-Novoa, who took the helm in 2007 after the merger with MyTravel, has presided over three profit warnings in the last year as the firm struggles to turn around its UK business.
It is understood that Mr Fontenla-Novoa accepted responsibility for the poor performance in the UK, which resulted in his resignation.
Europe’s second largest travel firm said deputy chief executive Sam Weihagen will run the business until a new chief executive is found.
Mr Fontenla-Novoa joined the group in 1996 after it acquired SunWorld, a business which he founded and which was the UK’s fourth largest travel operator at the time.
Stepping down, he said: “Thomas Cook and its people have a sound heritage and I have been proud to have been part of the company.”
Thomas Cook’s latest profits warning last month showed profits would be some £60m below expectations – due to turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, rising fuel prices and the squeeze in UK consumer spending.
The group is in the middle of a strategic review of its UK business as it looks at the mix of holidays it offers and the best use of its airline fleet.
Shares in Thomas Cook closed down 1.3p at 59.5p yesterday.