Taiwan media: Ex-Cathay Pacific CEO refused to give up names of staff involved in HK protests
He apparently wrote down his own name as the only one involved in the protests.
Rupert Hogg, CEO of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific airline, resigned suddenly on Aug. 16 in controversial circumstances.
But he might have done it for noble reasons.
Cathay Pacific controversy
Cathay Pacific employees have been involved in the protests currently rocking the Special Administrative Region, which led to the sacking of two pilots.
According to the South China Morning Post, the pilots were sacked for participating in clashes with the police, and for misusing company information related to the protests.
Hogg resigned on Aug. 16, and said he had to take responsibility for the “challenging weeks” the airline had went through, the BBC reported.
Paul Loo, chief customer and commercial officer, also resigned.
However, it appears that Hogg may have stood up for his employees, even though he was put under pressure.
One name given
Taiwan News, citing “local Hong Kong media reports”, said that Hogg was asked by China’s Civil Aviation Administration to hand over a list of Cathay Pacific employees who had participated in the protests.
But Hogg allegedly wrote down just one name on the list and sent it to them — his own.
Taiwan News quoted Taiwanese politician Wang Ting-yu, who praised Hogg’s alleged decision to submit just one name in a Facebook post.
Wang said (partial translation):
“He took responsibility for the strike and resigned!
He didn’t sell out any Cathay Pacific employees!
He took responsibility himself!
Please remember the name of this gentleman.
Mr. Rupert Hogg!
I salute you!”
The post had gained over 10,000 reactions as of Aug. 20.
Other Facebook posts and Tweets commending Hogg’s alleged actions went viral:
真正的勇士！中共民航局要求國泰CEO把員工名單交給中共，CEO（英國人）交了自己的名字！表明為員工罷工負責！辭職！他沒有出賣任何一名國泰員工！把責任全部自己扛了！請我們記住這位先生的名字：Rupert Hogg 何杲先生！I salute you! 英國人做得到的，中國人永遠做不到！ pic.twitter.com/XH1Eog8zFf
— David Ng (@AndrewC86186) August 17, 2019
“True warrior! Civil Aviation Administration of China requested the list of employees who have participated in the strike from Cathay, but the CEO gave them only his name! Stating clearly that he will bear the responsibility for those who attended the strike! Resign!
He did not betray any of the Cathay employees! He bears the responsibilities all by himself! This is a name to be remembered. Mr Rupert Hogg!I salute you! What British can do is something that Chinese can never do!”
Cathay Pacific supports the HK government
Cathay Pacific also said in a statement that the protesters occupying the Hong Kong international airport were disrupting their operations.
On Aug. 14, it stated its “firm support” for the city’s government, according to SCMP:
“Tens of thousands of passengers had their travel plans disrupted as a result, and even more concerning were reports of obstructive behaviour directed towards travellers.
We believe such actions are unacceptable. Not only do they seriously harm Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub, they also damage the reputation of Hong Kong as a whole.”
Cathay Pacific’s Chairman, John Slosar, said it had to put a new management team in place that could “reset confidence.”
Carrie Lam cannot comment
The Hong Kong Free Press tweeted a press conference with Chief Executive Carrie Lam, where she was asked about Hong Kong companies “like Cathay” that were allegedly “forced by Beijing” to act against their employees.
“I cannot comment as the Chief Executive on the commercial decisions of individual companies.
I hope you understand that I remain convinced that Hong Kong has her unique advantages in attracting overseas companies to come to Hong Kong.
One of the most important strengths is the rule of law, that’s why we have been doing so much to ensure that the rule of law is being upheld and respected in Hong Kong.”
When asked by HKFP if #HongKong is still the world's freest economy, when firms like @cathaypacific are pressured by Beijing & state media to publish pro-gov't comments and fire staff, leader Carrie Lam refused to provide reassurances. https://t.co/xTFFQ9TiE5 pic.twitter.com/jvp3FYPYQl
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) August 20, 2019
Top image from HK01.