Virgin Atlantic has announced that Shai Weiss, currently executive vice president and chief commercial officer and a member of its board, has been appointed as chief executive.
He will take up the role on January 1st next year.
Craig Kreeger will remain with the airline until his retirement at the end of December to assist with the transition.
Weiss has been with Virgin Atlantic since August 2012 as a board member and assumed the role of chief financial officer in July 2014 later becoming chief commercial officer in January 2017.
Kreeger said: “Ever since my appointment as chief executive in February 2013, I set out to ensure Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays realise their full potential by empowering our people to provide a uniquely Virgin Atlantic service which truly delights and excites our customers.
“All this, as we made our partnership with Delta the natural choice for passengers across the Atlantic and transformed the financial performance of the Company.”
He added: “Shai has supported me closely since joining us in July 2014, serving as a valuable partner, as we embarked on making our Plan to Win a reality.
“As we embark on Velocity, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the leadership baton to Shai and for me to begin a new chapter.”
Virgin Atlantic will embark on Velocity – its next mid-range corporate plan – starting in 2019.
Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said: “On behalf of the whole Virgin family, I want to thank Craig for the fantastic job he has done in leading Virgin Atlantic these past five years.
“He has focused our people on providing the best customer service by refreshing our onboard experience, bringing in new planes and bringing us closer to our partner Delta, opening more destinations and opportunities for our flyers
“I’ve worked closely with Shai for more than a decade and know his drive, commitment and passion mean the airline and our amazing people are in great hands.
“The next few years are exciting as we build on the opportunities created by our expanded partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM to bring in more new planes and access to more routes.”
The expanded four-way joint venture partnership between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM is at the heart of Velocity and will become the preferred choice for customers travelling across the Atlantic.
“I want to thank Craig for his leadership, and all he’s contributed to Virgin Atlantic in his time as chief executive,” said Weiss.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and am grateful for the opportunity to lead this amazing company.
“This is a hugely exciting time for all of us at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.
“Together with our outstanding and dedicated people, and my colleagues in the leadership team, I’m confident we can go further and higher.”