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Cathay Pacific replaces chief exec in reshuffle

April 19, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cathay Pacific, which recently posted its first annual loss in eight years, has replaced its chief executive officer.

The Hong Kong-based carrier, controlled by the Swire group, said in a stock exchange filing that Ivan Chu would step aside as chief executive but keep a seat on the board.

Cathay’s chief operating officer Rupert Hogg, 55, will replace Chu as chief executive. Hogg is a Swire veteran who has been with the group since 1986 and Chu has been with Swire for three decades. The moves are accompanied by a reshuffling of the airline’s executive ranks.

Cathay’s new chief executive, Rupert Hogg

Cathay’s recent annual loss came as the airline battles fierce competition and extra capacity from state-owned mainland Chinese carriers, following a fall in business travel, losses from fuel hedging and a strong Hong Kong dollar that has made Hong Kong a comparatively pricey destination.

The airline posted a net loss for 2016 of HKD 575 million (AUD 96.3 million), compared with a profit of  HKD 6 billion (AUD 1 billion) in 2015. See: Cathay hammered by first annual loss in eight years

Swire chairman John Slosar paid tribute to Chu’s leadership, saying “Ivan played a key role in the airline’s management during some very good times and, more recently, some difficult and challenging times. In response, he led the team in devising the three-year transformation strategy which will provide the platform for Cathay’s medium term recovery and continued development.”

Slosar also welcomed the appointment of Hogg to succeed Chu.

“He [Hogg] has played a major role as Chief Operating Officer over the last three years and brings commercial focus and a spirit of innovation to our efforts to overcome the well-documented structural challenges facing the airline. He is the right man to lead our team.”

Written by Peter Needham

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