Dr Michael Frenzel (b. 1947) is a German manager and former politician who started his career in banking and under whose leadership TUI Travel Plc would later come into existence.
Michael was born in Leipzig, the son of a shoemaker, and later moved with his family to Duisburg where he schooled until 1966. He committed to two years as a regular soldier and a reserve officer candidate in the Bundeswehr, before studying law at the Ruhr University in Bochum. He became closely involved in local politics during the 1970s while studying for his doctorate, which he was awarded in 1980. He joined the Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB), Düsseldorf in 1981, where he was promoted to various managerial positions: he became manager of the Industrial Holdings Department in 1983, and overall manager of WestLB's Equity Holdings Division in 1985 - including holdings in banking, leasing and real estate.
In 1988, Michael became a member of the Preussag AG executive board, being responsible for Trading and Logistics. He was promoted to Chairman of the Executive Board in 1994. Under his leadership, the multi-business conglomerate Preussag was repositioned into Europe’s leading tourism Group within only a few years. One of the main milestones was the acquisition of a stake in Hapag-Lloyd in 1997. This was followed by the acquisition of leading tourism companies such as TUI/Hanover, Thomson Travel/London, and Nouvelles Frontières/Paris. In 2002, the annual general meeting passed a resolution to change the name of Preussag AG to TUI AG. Michael served as Chairman of TUI Travel Plc from 2007–2013.
In 2012, Michael was appointed Chairman of the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) Executive Committee. He is also the president of BTW (Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry) representing the interests of the tourism industry within important private sector associations.
Michael was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2008.