MIAMI — Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) CEO and managing director Christoph Mueller will leave his executive position in September 2016.

According to a press statement, Mueller, the first non-Malaysian CEO of the carrier, requested to leave before the end of his three-year contract due to “changing personal circumstances.”

Mueller joined the Board of Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAS) as a Non-Executive Director on January 1, 2015, and became CEO on March 1, 2015. During his tenure, Muller lead the turnaround of the troubled airline, sinking in debts, issuing massive layoffs and struggling to maintain the morale of its staff after the crashes of flights MH370 and MH17 in 2014.

Christoph Mueller, Malaysia Airlines CEO. (Credits: Malaysia Airlines)
Christoph Mueller, Malaysia Airlines CEO. (Credits: Malaysia Airlines)

“I am proud of what we have achieved as a team in such a short time and that the hard work of all of our employees is already showing the first signs of success.” Mueller said in a statement. “The airline has been restructured and repositioned to regain its leading position in customer experience and to continue to connect Malaysia with the world. I am confident that the company is now on the right track to succeed in its next phase of growth under a new CEO” he said.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad, owner of Malaysia Airlines, highlighted Muellers work, who, “has laid the groundwork, put in place a strong management team, and undertaken the necessary measures and initiatives that have produced encouraging signs of progress on Malaysia Airline’s path to recovery, as called for under the five-year 12-point MAS Recovery Plan (“MRP”).” The company said in a statement.

The airline has begun the search for a new CEO, which according to the airline will include both local and foreign potential candidates.