Broughshane man, David Strahan is quitting his job as Chief Executive of Translink to become a gospel preacher.
Mr Strahan took up the £155,000 salaried job in October.
“I know many people may not understand this decision but, as this is a very personal matter, I ask that the media respect my privacy,” he told the BBC.
“I will not be making any further public comment on this issue.”
Translink revealed the news today in a statement, saying that he is “to leave business life for personal reasons”.
Translink Chairman John Trethowan, said: “Since David joined Translink as Group Chief Executive last year he has brought energy and commitment to the challenge of driving our organisation forward. David has now informed the Board of Translink that he is to leave business life for entirely personal reasons. While we are sorry to lose David we respect his decision and wish him every success with his future endeavours. On behalf of the Board of Translink I want to record our thanks to David for all his hard work and leadership of the organisation through a period of significant funding challenges.”
Mr Strahan will continue to lead Translink until the Autumn which allows time for a successor to be appointed. The process to appoint his replacement has already begun.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy also paid tribute to Mr Strahan.
“I have been very impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm David has brought to this post and I fully respect his decision to leave to take up a new direction in his life,” Mr Kennedy said.
“I am pleased that he will remain as Chief Executive until the end of September to give time for a new appointment to be made. I want to wish him well for the future.”
SDLP MLA and member of the Regional Development Committee, John Dallat also paid tribute to Mr Strathan.
He said: “I spoke with Mr Strathan this morning and have wished him every blessing in the vocation he has chosen to follow.
“In the short time he has been Chief Executive Mr Strathan introduced a wind of change beginning within Translink and I believe that this will continue to gain momentum after his departure
“In the months before the CEO moves on there will be critical decisions to be made particularly in relation to Derry-Belfast railway upgrade which is absolutely essential if we are to achieve the objective of an hourly service between the two cities. I have an assurance that Mr Strathan’s focus will remain on that.
“For the future it is essential that a replacement is appointed without delay and that person is selected for their qualifications and ability to fundamentally change the direction of Translink with a particular focus on the role of the board of directors and management team.
“I would like to again thank Mr Strathan for his valuable service and expertise as CEO and wish him all the best for the future.”