Cathay Pacific CEO and CCCO stand down after Hong Kong protests fallout

By Luke Barras-hill |

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Cathay Pacific has announced changes to its senior management.

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has rung changes to its senior management in the wake of a row over the Hong Kong protests.

The Board of Directors today announced it had accepted the resignations of CEO Rupert Hogg and Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo.

Group Chairman John Slosar stated that ‘recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure’, adding ‘it is the right time for new leadership to take Cathay Pacific forward’.

Hogg said he assumed responsibility following ‘challenging weeks’ for the airline, which had been under pronounced pressure from Beijing to clamp down on sections of staff who had taken part in the increasingly violent anti-government protests that caused widespread disruption across the city and dislocated Hong Kong International Airport’s operations for two consecutive days.

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Rupert Hogg has resigned as Cathay Pacific CEO. Source: Flickr: Rise.

AUGUSTUS TANG IS NEW CEO

On Wednesday (14 August), Cathay issued a notice pledging support for the Hong Kong SAR Government and authorities in restoring law and order.

This followed an email to staff, leaked to a number of international media outlets, warning of ‘disciplinary consequences’ for those employees who supported the demonstrations.

In a statement, Cathay Pacific says CEO of HAECO Augustus Tang has been appointed as the airline’s new Chief Executive Officer and Ronald Lam as Chief Customer and Commercial Officer following a Board meeting today.

Lam, the current CEO of Hong Kong Express, will remain in his post until a successor is appointed.

Slosar said: “Augustus Tang and Ronald Lam have the experience and depth of knowledge of aviation and our people to be strong and effective leaders of Cathay Pacific at this sensitive time.

“Hong Kong is a fantastic home for our airline. It is a world class city and has a premium airport which is the biggest international passenger and cargo hub in Asia. Cathay Pacific has a relentless focus on standards of safety and care, and an unrivalled reputation for customer service.”

Slosar paid tribute to Hogg and his team in executing the carrier’s well-publicised three-year Transformation Programme that has formed the basis for Cathay’s recovery and a strong platform for its development.

Recent events have been ‘regrettable’, he added, with the need to put in a place a new management team ‘who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights’.

Cathay shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange closed at HK$10.6 (16:09 local time) today (16 August), reaching a high of HK$10.7 after opening at HK$10.5. The carrier’s share price tumbled earlier this week at the height of the airport disruption.

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