Germany's second-biggest airline, Air Berlin, says its chief executive will step down in early 2015 after two years piloting the company's turnaround effort.

Air Berlin said Monday that Stefan Pichler will take over on Feb. 1 from Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who it said is leaving the job "on his own request." It said Prock-Schauer will remain on the management board as chief strategy and planning officer.

Air Berlin is engaged in a long-term effort to cut costs. It has been helped by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which holds a roughly 30 percent stake in the airline.