Content360 2023
Cathay Pacific director customer resigns after 12 years, one of 2 senior exits

Cathay Pacific director customer resigns after 12 years, one of 2 senior exits

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Cathay Pacific’s director customer Simon Large (pictured) and its chief risk officer Philippe Lacamp have both resigned from the brand ahead of its routine reshuffle of top bras. Large was responsible for managing duties for the brand such overseeing of its loyalty programme and corporate and marketing communications, and will step away on 31 July. Cathay Pacific has confirmed the statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.

Large has been with Cathay for 12 years and held the role of director customer for four years. Before that he was also director cargo for close to two years and GM of marketing, loyalty programmes and CRM for three years. He started his journey with Cathay as GM of its Japan ops. He joined the Swire group in 1991. 

According to a report on South China Morning Post, the departures come ahead of Cathay’s rotation of top executives that occur every three to four years. According to sources, chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam is the only person being considered as current CEO Augustus Tang’s successor, the article reported.

Tang came on board in 2019 amidst a difficult period when the brand was caught in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests where the airport came to a temporary standstill hurting Cathay’s revenue stream. Following which the brand faced the COVID-19 crisis which grounded its flights internationally as borders remained shut in many markets globally.

In a bid to buffer the difficult downtime of the flights, just this week Cathay Pacific unveiled its new premium travel lifestyle brand called “Cathay” that offers a new range of offers in dining, shopping, hotels, and wellness – enabling the brand to engage with customers not only when they fly with the company, but every day. The first of these offers will be a new Cathay co-branded credit card which will be launched in Hong Kong. These will all culminate in a refreshed customer relationship programme in the first half of 2022.

Initially, “Cathay” will only be available in Hong Kong while Cathay Pacific will continue to be the brand known to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, also this week,  Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), Cathay and Mastercard have launched three new Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard Credit Cards with new offers and privileges. These cards allow customers to earn Asia Miles faster directly by using banking services only from Standard Chartered. To drive adoption, Cathay is also giving out 200,000 miles to eligible customers.

The launch expands on the Asia Miles co-branded credit card in Hong Kong launched in 2016 by Standard Chartered, Asia Miles and Mastercard. Lay Choo Ong, head of consumer, private and business banking, Hong Kong at Standard Chartered said the previous co-branded card was a great example of a strong partnership with Cathay and Mastercard, and the new partnership will go beyond purely mile-earning cards. “It will have a combined the privileges of Priority Banking and Priority Private with credit cards, making it the most unique proposition on the market that offers a wider range of shopping, travel, life enjoyment and banking services privileges,” said Ong.

Ong added that while the pandemic has delayed many people’s travel plans, customer loyalty in earning miles through credit card transactions remains high. The average annual spending of the previous co-branded card was 20% higher than the market average, while the Active Ratio from February to April this year remained at a high level of 90%. These statistics reflect the fact that many customers are taking advantage of this period to accumulate miles to get ready for their next journey.

Paul Smitton, general manager, customer relationship and retail at Cathay said, “Cathay brings together Cathay Pacific, Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles all in one place, simplifying the way our customers interact with us, including how they earn status and use miles. […]These new credit cards represent the further strengthening of our relationship with our longstanding partners, Standard Chartered and Mastercard, to provide more benefits for our customers. “

Smitton added that this partnership is for a period of 10 years with Mastercard on co-branded credit cards and with Standard Chartered in Hong Kong for both co-branded credit cards and earning miles through direct banking.

Related articles: 

Analysis: How Cathay Pacific's new brand can take flight in HK's competitive lifestyle market

Cathay Pacific unveils name for premium HK-first lifestyle brand

Cathay Pacific ties in vaccination push with private party marketing

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