Michael Kirnberger, one of the leading figures in European travel management, is to retire from the presidency of the VDR
He will not seek re-election when his current term at the German travel managers' association expires in 2009.
He made the expected announcement at VDR's Fall Conference in Warsaw last week.
Mr Kirnberger has been president of the VDR since 1994 and before that held various other posts in the organisation.
His departure from the presidency will coincide with his retirement as director corporate travel services for Merck Germany.
A spokesman for the organisation said that Mr Kirnberger had devoted as much as 50% of his time to the VDR and had done an "incredible amount" of work for it.
The VDR is likely to face re-structuring after Mr Kirnberger leaves.
Its seven regions have been asked to come up with ideas for re-structuring at its spring conference in Dresden next April.
The spokesman said the organisation had 500 members and was still growing. "The question is whether we can get on with the structure we have.
"The growth of the organisation might mean we have to have more full time staff. Nor do I think we will find an employer who will allow his travel manager to spend as much time on VDR business as Michael Kirnberger has," he said.
"There are also so many topics and challenges facing travel managers so we might not be able to go on after 2009 with the same structure."
More than 250 delegates attended the two day event in Warsaw where Open Skies, the responsibilities of travel managers, including environmental and safety issues were among the issues discussed.
On carbon emissions, the travel managers looked at the various tools available for measuring and off setting while on safety and security, they looked at how much a travel manager should get involved.
The VDR has also decided to form two groups within its organisation, one to represent travel managers from the major companies and one to represent those from SMEs.