Tim Clark will retire as the president of Emirates Airline at the end of June 2020 after more than three decades at the state-controlled business that has helped to transform Dubai into one of the world's major travel crossroads.
Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said on Tuesday in an internal memo to staff, reviewed by Reuters, that Clark would stay on as an adviser to the company.
"Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or manmade, and various industry upheavals, Tim has ably steered and grown Emirates to its standing today as the world's largest international airline, and an eminent player in the global airline industry," Sheikh Ahmed said the memo.
An Emirates spokeswoman confirmed the retirement to Reuters.
Clark, 70, joined the airline as a founding member in 1985, having previously worked at Gulf Air and Caledonian Airways.
The British national became Emirates' president in 2003.
"Tim is a giant of the industry. He had the vision behind Emirates and has cultivated the airline to where it is today," said independent aviation consultant John Strickland.
Knighted in 2014 for his services to British prosperity and the aviation industry, Clark has since been referred to by many in the industry, including those at Emirates, as "Sir Tim".
Sheikh Ahmed, a member of Dubai's ruling family who has been the airline's chairman since inception, praised Clark as being central to Emirates success and Dubai's emergence as a global aviation hub.