Giles Hawke has stepped down from his job at MSC Cruises because of commuting concerns.
The managing director UK and Ireland said he has been making a five-hour daily round trip from “deepest Hampshire” to the company’s offices in central London since starting more than two years ago.
Now, as the company prepares to move to Heathrow in the spring he has decided he can no longer face the daily journey and is preparing a new venture.
Hawke said: “My leaving is to do with geography and it is a really amicable separation.”
Although he is not scheduled to leave MSC until April, Hawke said that he is working on a new secret venture, admitting only: “I hope it will come to fruition in the next couple of weeks or months.”
Gianni Onorato, chief executive of MSC Cruises, paid tribute to Hawke for making “a significant contribution to the business and the brand in the markets for which he held responsibility”.
He added he will be replaced in his role by Antonio Paradiso who is currently based at MSC Cruises’ global headquarters in Geneva as executive director, emerging markets, where he has overseen the cruise operator’s commercial and sales strategy in 30 countries on three different continents.
Meanwhile, Achille Staiano, currently head of commercial services, will assume on an ad interim basis market responsibility for Australia, Scandinavia and South Africa, which currently form part of Hawke’s portfolio.
Onorato said: “Antonio will be a strong successor to Giles as we look to grow further our business in the UK and Ireland.”