Paul Coby, chief information officer at British Airways, has stepped down from the post.

Coby, who subsequently wrote in his blog that “24x7 IT operational excellence” was the “foundation of everything the airline does”, said BA’s merger with Iberia played a part in the decision.

“As a result of the merger of British Airways with Iberia and the formation of the International Airlines Group (IAG), I have decided there is not a suitable role for me within the new BA Operating Company,” Coby wrote.

He will continue as the BA nominated director on the board of airline body SITA, which he currently chairs.

Computerworld UK sister title CIO described Coby as an “instrumental IT leader both in the wider British IT world and for BA, steering its IT strategy through the most important IT decade for airlines and the most challenging decade air travel has been through since it really took off after the Second World War”.

Keith Williams, BA chief executive designate, credited Coby for his “significant contribution to our business – notably the development of”.

Coby, who had been CIO at the airline since 2001, described the website as “the jewel in our crown”, which played a “fundamental” role in ticket sales and customer service.

Technology had helped transform business processes across BA, said Coby, who implemented Lean and Agile techniques across the airline.

But Coby also faced challenging times at BA, most notably the slump in global airline ticket sales across airlines over the last decade, and the chaotic opening of Heathrow Terminal 5 three years ago for which he later apologised.