Cathay Pacific Executives Resign

 - August 16, 2019, 10:08 AM
Cathay Pacific executives, including CEO Rupert Hogg, resigned after mounting pressure from Beijing.

The board of directors of Cathay Pacific Airways announced on Friday that it has accepted the resignation of two airline executives—CEO Rupert Hogg and chief customer and commercial officer Paul Loo. The surprise announcement follows a politically charged week that saw the shutdown of Hong Kong International Airport and the sacking of four Cathay Pacific employees over their involvement in anti-government protests.

In a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Cathay said both Hogg and Loo resigned to take responsibility as leaders “in view of recent events.” Hogg will be replaced by Augustus Tang, the head of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (wholly owned by Cathay’s parent company Swire Pacific). Loo will be replaced by Ronald Lam, CEO of Cathay’s low-cost arm Hong Kong Express. Lam will continue his CEO position until a successor is appointed. The resignation of both Hogg and Loo is set to take effect on August 19. 

“The Board of Directors believes that it is the right time for new leadership to take Cathay Pacific forward and that Augustus Tang and Ronald Lam, both of whom are highly experienced executives with long careers at Cathay Pacific, are ideally suited to lead the company,” Cathay said in a statement. 

Chairman John Slosar commended Hogg and his team for the successful execution of the airline’s three-year transformation plan but said recent events had called into question “Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put its reputation and brand under pressure. We therefore think it is time to put a new management team in place who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights,” he said.

For his part, Hogg stated that it was “right” for him and Loo to “take responsibility as leaders of the company. It has been my honor to lead the Cathay Pacific Group over the last three years. I am confident in the future of Hong Kong as the key aviation hub in Asia."

Rupert Hogg became CEO of Cathay Pacific in 2017. He currently serves as chairman of Cathay Dragon and AHK Air Hong Kong Dragon in addition to his position as director of John Swire & Sons and Air China Cargo. From 2014 to 2017, he served as Cathay’s COO.

Paul Loo joined Cathay Pacific in 1991 and has since held a number of key roles before becoming the airline’s chief customer and commercial officer in 2017. Loo is also Chairman of Hong Kong’s Board of Airline Representatives and a member of the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council.