LONDON — Virgin Group chief communications officer Nick Fox is moving on after 13 years with the company to pursue other opportunities.

He will move on at the end of the year after handing over to communications director Tamara Bennett (pictured, right), who will lead the team on an interim basis.

Fox (left) joined Virgin as the global financial crisis hit in October 2007 as director of external relations, and was instrumental in Virgin Money’s acquisition of Northern Rock. He became CCO in 2014, and has since led the communications team – and founder Richard Branson – through projects such as the first Virgin Galactic space flight in 2018, the group’s founding of Virgin StartUp and increasing Virgin’s visibility in the US.

Fox told PRovoke Media that “it was time for a change after 13 very good and eventful years”. It is not yet known what his next move will be but he said: “I have a few opportunities bubbling away.”

He added: “I have been very fortunate leading the communications at one of the world’s most iconic brands and working with one of the world’s best entrepreneurs. I have learnt a lot in these past 13 years, but having guided both of our airlines through to stability, taken Virgin Galactic public last year and now just raised Virgin’s own SPAC, I feel it’s a good time to start a new adventure. I will be working for a few months yet on a handover and continuing to consult to the Virgin Group portfolio of businesses during that time.”

Virgin Group CEO Josh Bayliss said: “For more than a decade, Nick has led our talented External Relations team through many major milestones for the Virgin Group. With Nick at the helm of our communications, Richard became one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs. Nick has now decided it’s time for a new challenge and I would like thank him for his tremendous accomplishments over the years.”

Separately, Virgin Group’s chief brand officer Lisa Thomas is stepping down, as the group restructures the leadership of its Virgin Red loyalty scheme, which she launched.

Bayliss said Thomas had “continued to build the Virgin brand into a force for good” since she joined in 2016: “Lisa has created a remarkable team of people to develop and deliver our brand strategy. She has also been instrumental in leading a number of initiatives focused on gender diversity. After five years with the business, Lisa has decided it’s time to consider the next stage of her career. I would like to thank her for her outstanding contribution and wish her the very best for the future.”

Thomas added: “I have loved my time at Virgin but I am very excited about what the future might hold. I’m looking forward to a bit of time off and then moving onto my next challenge.”