Cathay Pacific CEO steps down following pressure from Beijing

Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg has resigned after the Chinese government put pressure on the Hong Kong carrier to sack employees who were involved in anti-government protests.

Hogg is the highest-profile corporate casualty of official Chinese pressure on foreign and Hong Kong companies to support the ruling Communist Party’s position against the protesters.

Beijing had previously warned Cathay Pacific employees who “support or take part in illegal protests” would be barred from flying to or over the mainland.

Two pilots were then sacked after showing their support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong over increasing influence from Beijing.

In a statement Cathay Pacific chairman John Slosar said the new management needs to “reset confidence” because its commitment to safety and security were “called into question”.

“Cathay Pacific is fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ as enshrined in the Basic Law. We are confident that Hong Kong will have a great future,” Slosar said in the statement.

Hogg will be replaced by Augustus Tang, the chief executive of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering.