Embattled Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said today (4 September) that chairman John Slosar was stepping down to retire and will be replaced by longtime Swire Group executive Patrick Healy. Swire is the majority shareholder of Cathay.
Slosar has worked for Swire for 39 years and served as CEO of Cathay from 2011 to 2014 and then as chairman from 2014. Slosar was in charge recently when Cathay came under fire from Chinese aviation authorities and oversaw the forced resignation of former Cathay CEO Rupert Hogg and his top lieutenant.
Healy joined the Swire Group in 1988, spending 14 years with the group’s beverages division in mainland China, followed by four years as CEO of MRO company HAECO Xiamen. He currently heads up Swire Coca-Cola.
Merlin Swire, chairman of Swire Pacific, said: “I would like to thank John for his tremendous contributions to the company over the past 39 years. Under his leadership as the chief executive officer and then as chairman, Cathay has built on its already enviable reputation for quality service and the extensive global network which underpins the success of Hong Kong as Asia’s largest international passenger hub. The three-year transformation programme now nearing completion leaves Cathay well-positioned for continued growth in the future.”
Slosar said: “Being the Chairman of Cathay Pacific has been the greatest of privileges for me. I would like to thank the entire Cathay team for their support, commitment and friendship during my years as part of that team. They are always at their best in challenging times, when their dedication really shines through.” He continued, “Pat is a strong and experienced executive, having successfully led a number of different Swire businesses. He is creative and customer-focused, and I am sure he will lead Cathay Pacific to new heights.”
Healy said: “I look forward to working closely with CEO Augustus Tang, my long-term Swire colleague, his talented team and the entire Board of Directors. Together, and with the support of the Cathay team, we will ensure that our airlines focus relentlessly on safety, on enhancing the travel experiences of our customers, on being efficient in everything that we do, and on competing effectively to create positive business performance.”
Healy will also assume the role of chairman of Swire Coca-Cola and retain responsibility for the group’s worldwide beverages business.