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Cathay Pacific CEO resigns after pressure in Beijing on Hong Kong protests

Cathay Pacific Airways chief executive resigned on Friday following pressure from Beijing on a Hong Kong carrier for the involvement of some of its employees in anti-government protests.

Cathay Pacific said Rupert Hogg had resigned "to take responsibility" after the "recent events".

Company chairman John Slasar said in a statement that the airline needed new management as events "called into question" its commitment to safety and security.

"This is unfortunate because we have always made safety and security our highest priority," Slosar said in a statement. "That is why we believe it is time to create a new management team to restore confidence and bring the airline to new heights."

Cathay Pacific, which has been under pressure from China's aviation regulator, said it is fully committed to Hong Kong on a "one-state, two-system" basis and is confident that Hong Kong will have a great future.

The Chinese city of Shenzhen is located across the border from Hong Kong. Paramilitary police were gathering in Shenzhen for exercises in what some saw as a threat to Hong Kong democracy protesters. (CBC News)

The airline has become involved in crosswalks between Beijing and pro-democracy groups at the Asian Financial Center after some of its employees participated in protests in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific this week suspended the hiring of two pilots for their participation in the protests after a Chinese aviation regulator was ordered to terminate personnel involved in the unlawful protests.

The airline has named August Tan as its new CEO. Tang was the head of a Hong Kong-based airline company, which, like Cathay, is managed by Swire Pacific Ltd.

Cathay Pacific also said that Paul Loo has resigned as chief customer and sales officer to be replaced by his low-cost Hong Kong express leader Ronald Lam.

Hog said these were "challenging weeks" for the airline and it was up to Lo and him to take responsibility as the company's leaders.

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