The Cathay Pacific Group announces senior leadership appointments

09 November 2022

Augustus Tang to retire and Ronald Lam appointed Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2023


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


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


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.


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.


“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.


Mr. Healy also thanked Mr. Hughes for his 36 years with the Swire Group, and for his contribution to Cathay Pacific over his career and more recently as a member of the Board since 2017.


“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to extend our enormous gratitude to Greg for his exemplary service to the company. The professionalism and rigour which he has brought to our operations, our service delivery and our safety excellence, have been instrumental in our ability to emerge from the crisis fitter than ever, ready to navigate the challenges of the recovery and gradually build back capacity with control and discipline.”


Other appointments to the senior leadership team are:


Erica Peng, currently General Manager Planning at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Ms. Lau and is appointed Director Customer Travel effective 1 January 2023.


Mandy Ng, currently Chief Executive Officer of the Cathay Pacific Group’s wholly owned low-cost carrier HK Express, will return to Cathay Pacific and succeed Mr. McGowan as Director Service Delivery effective 1 April 2023.


Jeanette Mao, currently General Manager Inflight Services at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Ms. Ng as HK Express Chief Executive Officer effective 1 April 2023.


Mr. Healy also spoke of the depth of aviation talent within the company. “We can all be proud to see such a rich seam of homegrown talent rising through the ranks at Cathay Pacific. Without doubt, succession planning is one of our core strengths, and it gives me enormous pleasure to witness these excellent managers assume these critical leadership positions.  


“We have a crystal-clear long-term strategy and a new leadership team about to assume their new responsibilities. We are thrilled to be emerging from the recent crisis, and we are filled with confidence about the future.”


Ronald Lam, Cathay Pacific Group Chief Executive Officer-designate

Ronald Lam has been Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer and Chair of the Group’s wholly owned low-cost subsidiary, HK Express since August 2019. He is responsible for all customer, commercial and cargo-related activities of the Group’s airlines.  Mr. Lam joined the Cathay Pacific Group as a Management Trainee in 1996 and has since held a number of senior leadership roles in Hong Kong and overseas including Director Commercial & Cargo at Cathay Pacific, Director and GM Hong Kong Operations at Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) and Chief Executive Officer of HK Express.


Lavinia Lau, Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer-designate

Lavinia Lau has been Director Customer Travel, leading the Customer Travel business line that is accountable for the customer travel experience design, as well as the passenger commercial functions for Cathay Pacific, since 2021. Ms. Lau joined the Swire Group as a Management Trainee in 1992 and has since held a number of senior leadership positions at Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong including General Manager Sales, Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong, and General Manager Planning. Ms. Lau is Chair of The Board of Airline Representatives in Hong Kong (BAR) and Board member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).


Alex McGowan, Cathay Pacific Chief Operations and Service Delivery Officer-designate

Alex McGowan has been Director Service Delivery, leading and supporting the global teams who provide Cathay Pacific’s customer experience inflight and on the ground, since 2020. In addition, he oversees the Cathay Pacific Group’s passenger service subsidiaries including Cathay Pacific Catering Services (H.K.) Limited, Hong Kong Airport Services Limited, Vogue Laundry Service Limited, and Shanghai International Airport Services Co., Limited. Mr. McGowan joined the Cathay Pacific Group in 2005 and has held various senior leadership positions including General Manager Aircrew and General Manager Strategic Transformation. Prior to joining Cathay Pacific, he worked for an international airline based in London and a technology startup in Seattle.


Erica Peng, Cathay Pacific Director Customer Travel-designate

Erica Peng has been General Manager Planning, overseeing fleet and network strategies for the Cathay Pacific Group, since 2021. Ms. Peng joined the Cathay Pacific Group as a Management Trainee in 2002 and has held various leadership positions including General Manager Airport Service Delivery and several other commercial roles. She has also worked in the airline’s outport offices in the Chinese Mainland, Japan, Vietnam and Italy.


Mandy Ng, Cathay Pacific Director Service Delivery-designate


Mandy Ng has been Chief Executive Officer of HK Express, leading the low-cost carrier business of the Group, since August 2019. She joined the Cathay Pacific Group as a Management Trainee in 1999 and has held numerous leadership positions including General Manager of Business Development at Swire Pacific and various managerial roles at Cathay Pacific including Planning and Revenue Management. Ms. Ng is a member of the Tourism Strategy Group of the Tourism Commission, HKSAR Government and Member of the Retail and Tourism Committee, HK General Chamber of Commerce.


Jeanette Mao, HK Express Chief Executive Officer-designate

Jeanette Mao has been General Manager Inflight Service Delivery, leading the team to deliver excellent services on board for all customers, since August 2019.  She joined the Cathay Pacific Group in 2002 as Management Trainee and held various managerial positions including Cargo, International Affairs, Customer Experience, Sales and Distribution.

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