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Cathay Pacific Names New CEO Who Will Face Big Challenges

Aug 17, 2013 12:05 am

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Chu will inherit a company stumbling over the dual obstacles of shrinking air cargo volume and diminished business travel. Wish him luck.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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The Associated Press

A Cathay Pacific Boeing B747-400 Aircraft on the runway at Frankfurt's airport. The Associated Press


Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia’s biggest international carrier, named Ivan Chu as its new chief executive as incumbent John Slosar will become chairman.

Chu, 51, will take over after annual results are announced in March 2014, the Hong Kong-based airline said in a stock exchange statement today. Swire Pacific Ltd., the airline’s biggest shareholder, said in a separate statement that Slosar, 57, will also become its chairman.

Cathay Pacific earlier this week reported first-half profit that missed analyst estimates as cargo revenue dropped and declining yields in North Asia offset gains from carrying more passengers. Slosar cut capacity and phased out some planes to revive earnings after the carrier had a restated loss of HK$929 million ($120 million) in the first half of last year.

Christopher Pratt, current chairman of Swire as well as Cathay Pacific and other affiliated companies, plans to retire after March, the statements said. Slosar, who has worked for the Swire group for 33 years, became Cathay’s chief executive in March 2011. Chu has worked for Cathay Pacific for 29 years and has been chief operating officer since March 2011.

The airline’s shares fell 0.7 percent to HK$14.24 ($1.84) in Hong Kong trading today. The announcement was made after the stock market was closed for trading.

Slosar will also take over from Pratt as chairman of Swire Properties Ltd. and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co., also known as Haeco.

Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy and Frank Longid. To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong at Jwang513@bloomberg.net. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net.

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