Cathay Pacific’s CEO resigns amid Hong Kong protests

Cathay Pacific’s CEO resigns amid Hong Kong protests

Agency News

The chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways stepped down on Friday amid bloodier Hong Kong protests.

The resignation is the result of a storm of criticism from the Chinese government and state news media over Cathay Pacific employees’ participation in the Hong Kong protests.

The resignation atop one of Hong Kong’s best known international airline brand illustrates the power that China’s government has over global companies whose bottom line depends on access to the mainland.

In a filing with Hong Kong’s stock exchange late Friday, Cathay said that its chief executive, Rupert Hogg, had resigned effective Monday “to take responsibility as a leader of the company in view of recent events.”

Mr. Hogg, who had been chief executive for only two years, found himself in an increasingly precarious position as this summer’s anti-government demonstrations intensified in Hong Kong. Protests over a proposed law that would have allowed the territory’s government to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China, where the Communist Party controls the courts, have broadened into demands that local leaders resign and that Hong Kong residents be allowed to vote in free elections.

The protests have also become bloodier, culminating earlier this week in demonstrations at the city’s airport that snarled traffic and raised questions about Hong Kong’s future.