Friday 16 August 2019 10:44 am

Cathay Pacific boss steps down amid Hong Kong protests

The chief executive of Cathay Pacific has resigned after coming under increasing pressure from the Chinese government over his staff’s role in protests which have rocked Hong Kong.

Rupert Hogg steps down after the company fired four members of staff for joining protests in Hong Kong against the government’s ties to the Chinese authorities.

Read more: Cathay Pacific shares tumble after airline suspends Hong Kong protester

Meanwhile Paul Loo will step down as chief customer and commercial officer.

In a statement this morning the company said that Augustus Tang will take over. He was the chief executive of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, a Cathay Pacific sister company. Ronald Lam, the boss of Cathay’s budget arm Hong Kong Express, will take over as Loo’s job.

In a nod to the protests that have rocked the city, including at Hong Kong airport, Hogg said the company has faced “challenging weeks.”

“It is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company,” he added.

Cathay Pacific last week said it would bar “overly radical” crew members from working on flights into mainland China.

The company has come under increasing pressure from the mainland to stop its staff from taking part in the protests which have rocked Hong Kong.

Demonstrators initially took to the streets to march against a bill which would allow the Hong Kong authorities to extradite their citizens to the mainland. The protests have since morphed into general anti-government sentiment.

The airline’s chair John Slosar, said that the firm is committed the principle of one country two systems.

Read more: Cathay Pacific ‘sacks staff involved in Hong Kong protests’ after regulator pressure

He said: “Recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure. This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority. 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.”

Shares were up 2.1 per cent.