Baier, 61, was succeeded by Birgit Conix, 52, on Monday (October 1) after 22 years with the operator, including almost 11 as a member of the group’s executive board.
During his tenure, Baier played a key role in restructuring Tui, alongside chief executive Fritz Joussen, during the merger of the group’s German and British operations, Tui AG and Tui Travel Plc.
Joussen paid tribute to Baier, saying: “Transformation and repositioning have been mutual objectives. Horst Baier was important partner in restructuring the Group.”
Dr Klaus Mangold, chairman of Tui Group’s supervisory board, added: “Horst Baier has been instrumental in delivering TUI’s current strength.”
Baier joined Tui Group in 1996 as head of finance and accounting, taking on various financial management roles until bis appointment to the executive board in November 2007.
He was appointed CFO in 2010 and worked closely with Joussen, appointed chief executive in 2013, to steer the company through a transformative period, during which time the group’s UK and German operations were merged.
Mangold said Baier’s contribution to the merger “impressively displayed” his “unique expertise, deep knowledge of capital markers and negotiation skills”.
“He substantially helped shape Tui in the more than two decades of his affiliation to our group and secured the trust of the international capital markets and investors in Tui’s successful development and viability, above all in the past few years after the transformation,” said the chairman.
“Tui is in excellent financial health today, and this is due in large measure to Horst Baier. Horst Baier leaves the organisation in great shape to his successor Birgit Conix. As a leadership personality with skill, foresight and empathy, Horst Baier remains a role model for many employees, and his work will continue to resonate with the group even after he leaves the organisation.”
Conix takes over from Baier at the start of the 2019 financial year. She was announced as his successor in March and has been a member of the group’s executive board since July 15.
She joins Tui from her role as chief finance officer at Belgian media and telecoms group Telenet.
She has 25 years’ experience in finance across various industries, including assignments in some of Tui’s core markets such as London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Mexico.