Date
21 September 2017
Ivan Chu will become chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) Limited, the parent of Cathay's largest shareholder Swire Pacific. Photo: Bloomberg
Ivan Chu will become chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) Limited, the parent of Cathay's largest shareholder Swire Pacific. Photo: Bloomberg

Cathay Pacific CEO to step down after first loss since 2008

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said Ivan Chu will step down as chief executive on May 1, and will be replaced by Rupert Hogg, the airline’s chief operating officer, as part of a wider reshuffle of its top management.

It came after the carrier reported its first annual loss in eight years and ahead of plans for major cost-cutting, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Last month Hong Kong-based Cathay reported a net loss of HK$575 million (US$74 million) as it reeled from massive fuel-hedging losses and intensifying competition despite robust traffic demand in the region, the newspaper said.

Cathay was a dominant player in premium travel, targeting business and wealthy travelers willing to pay much more for connectivity and comfort, the Journal said.

But the carrier’s outlook deteriorated amid growing competition for economy seats and softer demand for premium travel.

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

Chu, 55, 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, the statement said.

He will remain a non-executive director of Cathay Pacific, it added.

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