He started his working life in local government at the age of 16 and has 44 years government service.
Philip is the longest serving member of the SOLACE management board and has been an honorary officer of SOLACE for seven years.
He is chairman of the SOLACE Audit Committee and his current management board portfolio is to provide a link with ALACE, where he is a council member. Mr Thomas has served on a number of SOLACE panels since 1991, including as secretary of the Electoral Matters Panel. In addition, he was the chairman and secretary of the South East branch of SOLACE.
He is also a member of the Audit Commission reference group on district comprehensive performance assessments.
During his time at Tandridge he has turned the council into a modern, high quality council, with services which rank in the top 25% of national performance league tables and high levels of customer satisfaction.
Mr Thomas, said: 'I am both pleased and sad to be going. I have enjoyed my time at Tandridge. It has been challenging and interesting. I have been amazed by the changes in local government in the last 12 years and at how diverse the job has become. I have worked with some excellent people, particularly at Tandridge and I will miss them.'
Gordon Keymer, leader of the council and the Conservative group, said: 'I have been fortunate in having Philip Thomas as my chief executive, while I have been leading the LGA Conservative group. He has played a major part in fighting for the interests of shire districts both within SOLACE and with the government. I am pleased he is going to spend his retirement enjoying Tandridge's excellent services.'