Chen quits as deputy chairman of Cathay

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2010, 12:00am

Veteran Cathay Pacific Airways director Philip Chen Nan-lok has resigned as deputy chairman and non-executive director of the carrier to pursue personal interests.

Chen was appointed a director in 1997 and his resignation is effective from July 1. The carrier did not announce his replacement.

In March, Cathay Pacific bounced back from the worst loss in its history, posting a HK$4.69 billion net annual profit, following an HK$8.7 billion loss in 2008.

The return to profit came amid rising passenger traffic and prices for business and first-class seats, two earnings drivers.

The company said passenger yields, or revenue per passenger per mile, had yet to return to the levels of 2007.

Chen gave up his job as chief executive of Cathay on July 1, 2007, to become deputy chairman of the carrier and chairman of John Swire & Sons (China), a newly created position in which he would be responsible for the Swire group's mainland investment strategy.

He joined the group in 1977 and is also an executive director at Swire Pacific, which will spin off its property unit, Swire Properties, on the stock market next month.

Chen will benefit from the proposed spin-off as Swire Pacific has declared a conditional special interim dividend of one Swire Properties share for every 10 Swire Pacific A shares held by shareholders. The company will also give one share in the property unit for every 50 B shares held.

According to Swire Pacific's annual report, Chen personally holds 2,000 Swire Pacific A shares while he and his family own 75,142 B shares.