Cathay Pacific Appoints New CEO Amidst Senior Management Changes

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 773 in flight., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The Cathay Pacific Group today announced a number of senior management appointments, effective over the next few months.

Notably, present CEO Augustus Tang is to retire, and Ronald Lam has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2023

CEO Handover

Heading the airline’s management line-up changes is the retirement of present CEO Augustus Tang, and the promotion of Ronald Lam to the role.

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 (pictured below), Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer effective 1 January 2023. He will also continue to serve as Chair of HK Express.

New Cathay Pacific CEO Ronald Lam.

Senior management changes

At the same time, Cathay Pacific announced a series of senior management changes.

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.

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.

Statement by Airline Group Chairperson

Commenting on the appointments, Cathay Pacific Group Chair Patrick Healy paid tribute to Mr. Tang’s leadership of the Cathay Pacific Group and recognised the critical role played by Mr. 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.”

Mr. Healy also congratulated Mr. Lam on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, saying: “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.”

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