Rupert Hogg, CEO of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific, has resigned following the controversy over airline staff embroiled in anti-Beijing protests. Paul Loo is also leaving as chief customer and commercial officer.
The resignation was reported by Chinese state news agency Xinhua with a statement from Cathay Pacific chairman John Slosar, who said it was time to put "a new management team in place who can reset confidence"
Hogg said he was taking responsibility as these had been "challenging weeks" for the airline. The Hong Kong carrier’s share prices plummeted as Chinese businesses called for a boycott of the airline.
Cathay cancelled more than 200 flights as thousands of pro-democracy protesters took over Hong Kong international airport.
Some Cathay employees took part in the protest, but China ordered the airline to suspend staff who did so. Cathay Pacific staff were warned they could be fired if they "support or participate in illegal protests".
Cathay Pacific announced Tang Kin Wing Augustus as the new CEO. Paul Loo has been replaced by Ronald Lam.
An official statement released by Cathay Pacific, said it is “deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong. We resolutely support the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Chief Executive and the Police in their efforts to restore law and order. We condemn all illegal activities and violent behaviour, which seriously undermine the fundamental principle of “One Country Two Systems” as enshrined in the Basic Law. All that is special about Hong Kong - its flourishing economy and the safe home it provides for our people and families - rests on a strong and respected rule of law. We must act now to stop the violence and preserve the stability, peace and prosperity of Hong Kong.”
The airline reiterated its willingness to “abide by the rules and regulations of the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and those of all the countries we serve and over whose airspace we fly. Cathay Pacific will comply with the CAAC safety directives at all times.”