In the online edition of Phuket News I found an interesting article which gives quite some more background on what happens behind the curtain in the province governor reshuffles.
Dr. Preecha Ruangjan (ปรีชา เรืองจันทร์) had just become governor of Phuket in October last year, and was now transferred to Phitsanulok in northern Thailand. He is replaced by Wichai Phraisa-ngop (วิชัย ไพรสงบ), who was governor in Singburi since October and previously was governor of Phang Nga.
While it would be easy to assume that the whole reshuffle now was only done to revert the reshuffle in October which was still done by the PPP-led Somchai government. But unlike the case of the Chiang Rai governor, in this case one does not need to assume political reasons behind the transfer. The article refers to Mrs Anchalee Vanich Thepabutr (อัญชลี เทพบุตร), former president of the provincial administrative organization (PAO) of Phuket and wife of a member of parliament from Phuket, who states that in fact it was Dr. Preecha himself who requested a transfer, as he has more experience for an agricultural province than for the tourism business which dominates in Phuket.
As a side-effect after the transfer he is now much closer to his home province Phichit, whereas his successor could return to the south after only a few month serving in the central Thai province.
Slightly related: while looking for more links and information on this topic, I also found an interview with Niran Kalayanamit (นิรันดร์ กัลยาณมิตร), who was governor of Phuket 2006-2008.