Changes at the top for Cathay Pacific

Augustus Tang to retire and Ronald Lam appointed CEO

Cathay Pacific HK by Matt Driskill
(PHOTO: Matt Driskill) Cathay Pacific Group announced a number of senior management appointments, effective over the next few months.

  • Augustus Tang, Chief Executive Officer, will retire from the Cathay Pacific Group on 31 December 2022. He will assume a new role at John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd. effective 1 January 2023.
  • Ronald Lam, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer effective 1 January 2023. He will continue to serve as Chair of HK Express.
  • Lavinia Lau, Director Customer Travel, will be appointed Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, replacing Mr. Lam, and will also be appointed Executive Director on the Board of Cathay Pacific effective 1 January 2023. 2
  • Greg Hughes, Chief Operations and Service Delivery Officer since June 2017, will retire from the Swire Group after 36 years of service in 2023.
  • Alex McGowan, Director Service Delivery, will be appointed Chief Operations and Service Delivery Officer and also Executive Director on the Board of Cathay Pacific effective 1 April 2023 upon Mr. Hughes’ retirement from the Board. Mr. McGowan will also be appointed Chair of Cathay Pacific’s wholly owned all-cargo airline, Air Hong Kong, replacing Mr. Hughes.

Commenting on the appointments, Cathay Pacific Group Chair Patrick Healy paid tribute to Tang’s leadership of the Cathay Pacific Group and recognised the critical role played by  Tang in the airline’s restructuring in 2020 and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I cannot overstate the degree of admiration and gratitude which I and the entire board have for Augustus. His tenure has encompassed the most turbulent period in Cathay Pacific’s more than 75-year history. That we are now emerging from this prolonged crisis in such great shape, with a more focused, efficient and competitive organisation, is due in very large part to the skill and wisdom of the CEO who has guided us through this period. I am immeasurably grateful to him for his unparalleled contribution to the company.”

Healy also congratulated Lam on his appointment as CEO. “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Ronald on his well-deserved appointment to chief executive officer. I have worked very closely with Ronald in recent years, and I have been impressed by his long-term vision for the company, his intellect, and his determination to see the Group succeed. He is without doubt ready to lead our organisation on our path to becoming one of the world’s greatest service brands. Ronald will lead the airline through its post-COVID recovery and the introduction of the Three-Runway System at Hong Kong International Airport, as the airline looks to increase its passenger flight capacity and strengthen connectivity at the Hong Kong international aviation hub. The company’s dual-brand strategy comprising Cathay Pacific as a premium full-service airline and HK Express as a wholly owned low-cost carrier have positioned it well to take advantage of the recovery and continue contributing to the long-term success of the Hong Kong hub.“

Other appointments to the senior leadership team are:

  • Erica Peng, currently General Manager Planning at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Lau and is appointed Director Customer Travel effective 1 January 2023.
  • Mandy Ng, currently Chief Executive Officer of the Cathay Pacific Group’s wholly owned low-cost carrier HK Express, will return to Cathay Pacific and succeed McGowan as Director Service Delivery effective 1 April 2023.
  • Jeanette Mao, currently General Manager Inflight Services at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Ng as HK Express Chief Executive Officer effective 1 April 2023.

Healy also spoke of the depth of aviation talent within the company. “We can all be proud to see such a rich seam of homegrown talent rising through the ranks at Cathay Pacific. Without doubt, succession planning is one of our core strengths, and it gives me enormous pleasure to witness these excellent managers assume these critical leadership positions. We have a crystal-clear long-term strategy and a new leadership team about to assume their new responsibilities. We are thrilled to be emerging from the recent crisis, and we are filled with confidence about the future.”

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