Cathay Pacific chief executive to step down

The leadership reshuffle comes after Hong Kong’s flag carrier posted its first annual loss since 2008 last month.

The Hong Kong carrier spooked investors when it announced last month a full-year net loss of HK$575 million. Dale De La Rey / AFP
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Cathay Pacific on Wednesday said Ivan Chu will step down as chief executive officer on May 1, and will be replaced by the airline’s current chief operating officer Rupert Hogg amid a wider reshuffle of the airline’s leadership.

The announcement comes after Hong Kong’s flag carrier posted its first annual loss since 2008 last month and unveiled plans to cut the cost of middle and senior management roles at its Hong Kong head office by 30 percent.

Mr Hogg, 55, who was appointed COO in 2014, will also become chairman of the airline’s short-haul arm, Cathay Dragon. His COO position will be eliminated, the statement said.

Mr Chu, who was made CEO in 2014, will become chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) Limited, the British-based privately-owned parent of Cathay’s largest shareholder Swire Pacific, where he will oversee Swire’s mainland China investment and development strategy. He will remain a non-executive director of Cathay Pacific, the statement added.

“(Chu) led the team in devising the three-year transformation strategy which will provide the platform for Cathay’s medium term recovery and continued development,” said Cathay Pacific’s chairman John Slosar in a press release.

“The new senior management structure we have announced today is the fruit of that extensive work and we are confident that it can take Cathay Pacific to new heights.”

The airline also announced a slew of other leadership changes. Paul Loo, currently director of corporate development and IT, will be appointed chief customer and commercial officer of Cathay Pacific from June 1.

Gregory Hughes will join Cathay Pacific as chief operations and service delivery officer from the airline’s sister firm, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co.

* Reuters

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