Cathay Pacific Chairman Slosar Resigns to Retire
The chairman of Hong Kong’s major airline, Cathay Pacific Airways, is resigning, marking the third departure of a senior executive in less than three weeks.
John Slosar will resign and retire from his position as chairman of Cathay Pacific, effective after a board meeting scheduled for Nov. 6, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange Wednesday after the market closed.
The news came after Chief Executive Rupert Hogg and Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo resigned last month following Beijing’s warning to the carrier over participation by some employees in the city’s recent mass protests.
Slosar, 62, has been with the Swire Group, Cathay Pacific’s parent company, since 1980. He was CEO of Cathay Pacific from 2010 to 2014 and chairman since 2014. Two years ago, he said he had no plan to retire.
Slosar will be succeeded by Patrick Healy, a veteran at Swire Group, the company said.
The airline said Slosar’s departure wasn’t related to “any disagreement with the board of the company.”
The Civil Aviation Administration of China, the mainland’s airline regulator, issued a safety notice to Cathay last month, asking the company to ban employees who support or take part in “illegal demonstrations, protests and violent attacks” and those who “have had radical behavior” from working on flights to the mainland.
Cathay Pacific has since fired several ground service staff and pilots and warned employees that anyone caught taking part in illegal protests could be fired.
In a memo Wednesday to Cathay staff, Slosar said recent weeks had brought some of the most “extraordinary and challenging times we have ever experienced.” But he said he believes Cathay will emerge stronger as it did in the past when it faced challenging times.
Cathay shares rose 7.2% Wednesday along with the broader market on news that a controversial extradition bill that sparked months of protests would be fully withdrawn. The Hang Seng Index jumped 3.9%.
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