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.
Rupert Hogg became the most popular corporate victim of official Chinese pressure on companies to support the ruling Communist Party's position.
Beijing jumped Hong Kong companies last week when it warned Cathay Pacific employees who "support or engage in illegal protests" would be banned from flying to or over the continent. Cathay Pacific said the pilot, who is accused of rioting, has been suspended from flying duties.
Hong Kong is in its third month of protests, which began in opposition to the proposed extradition law but expanded to include demands for a more democratic system.
Cathay Pacific needs a new management to "rebuild confidence" as its safety and security commitment is "called into question", said company president John Slosar.
Hogg has come to terms with "taking responsibility as a company leader in the light of recent events," the statement said.
August Tang, a veteran of the company's operations in Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia, was named Hog's successor, the airline said.