- Cathay Pacific‘s top two executives resigned Friday after protests in Hong Kong wreaked havoc on the airline’s flights and its stock price.
- The duo will be replaced by current executives, Cathay said in a press release and regulatory filings.
- In a cryptic statement, the company’s chairman said its committed to Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” agreement with China.
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Rupert Hogg, chief executive of Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag-carrier airline, has resigned amid ongoing protests in the city that have wreaked havoc on the airline’s scheduled flights as well as its stock price.
The airline’s chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo, has also resigned, it said in a regulatory filing with local regulators. Both posts will be replaced by current executives, the company said, and effective Monday August 19.
“Recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure,” the company’s chairman, John Slosar, said in a press release. “This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority.”
The cryptic statement likely refers to reports earlier this week, as hundreds of Cathay flights were disrupted by pro-democracy protests that overwhelmed the airport, which said the airline had threatened to fire any employees who took part in the protests.
In a note to staff on Monday, Hogg said staff who “support or participate in illegal protests” would face disciplinary action that “could be serious and may include termination of employment.”
Shares of Cathay, which trade in Hong Kong, finished the day up about 2% following the news. The stock has been routed during the more than two months of protests, falling more than 20% since June.
“Cathay Pacific is fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of ‘One Country Two Systems’ as enshrined in the Basic Law,” Slosar’s statement continued. “We are confident that Hong Kong will have a great future.”
More on Hong Kong’s protests:
- Satellite photos show more than 100 Chinese military vehicles massed at a soccer stadium near the Hong Kong border
- One of the richest people in Hong Kong has lost $US1 billion over the course of the 10-week protests, and now he’s joining the chorus of wealthy citizens calling for the protests to end
- Hong Kong will become another Tiananmen Square if China’s army comes, a protest leader warns
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