Virgin Atlantic chief commercial officer Julie Southern is leaving the airline after missing out on the role of chief executive.
She is to leave the airline next month after 13 years having lost out to former American Airlines executive Craig Kreeger for the top role.
Virgin said in a statement released to The Daily Telegraph that Southern “is moving on to pursue new challenges” on May 10.
“She leaves the airline having most recently set up the Delta joint venture deal and has been pivotal in leading the airline’s commercial endeavours during times of rapid growth and expansion. She will remain a close friend of the airline and we wish her well,” the airline added.
Southern has been with Virgin Atlantic since July 2000 and was long considered the most likely successor to Steve Ridgway, who recently retired after 11 years at the helm.
The airline said at the time of Kreeger’s appointment in January that Southern would continue in her role as chief commercial officer and would lead the implementation of Virgin’s joint venture with Delta, which agreed to buy a 49% stake in the UK carrier for $360 million.
Southern was finance director for Porsche Cars in Britain before joining Virgin, initially as executive director for finance.
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