Whitehead to leave Hactl chief executive role after eight years

17 / 01 / 2018

  • Mark Whitehead

    Mark Whitehead

One of the most well-known faces in the air cargo industry, Mark Whitehead, will leave his position as chief executive of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) in March after eight years at the helm.

Hactl said that Whitehead would be replaced by Wilson Kwong, currently chief executive of the Jardine Engineering Corp (JEC).

Kwong joined the Jardine Matheson Group, which is a major shareholder in Hactl, in 1998, and has worked in Jardine Aviation Services, the Jardine Matheson Head Office, and Hongkong Land.

Prior to joining JEC, he was chief executive of Raffles Quay Asset Management, a Hongkong Land joint venture company overseeing One Raffles Quay and Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore.

Whitehead said: “I welcome Wilson to Hactl, and I am confident that Hactl will flourish under his proven leadership. He will be supported by our unique team, and I wish them all the best.”

It is understood that it is Jardine policy that everyone retires from the company at a certain age, something that had already been extended once in Whitehead's case.

While Whitehead is retiring from the company, he is looking for new challenges.

Whitehead joined Jardine Matheson in 1987 as an in-house legal counsel; he subsequently worked for Jardine Transport Services Group, and was the Jardine Matheson Group’s senior representative for Indo-China from 1996 to 1999.

He was then appointed managing director of Schindler Lifts Hong Kong, after which he worked at Hongkong Land as an executive director.

Whitehead joined Hactl in 2010, with the specific task of steering the company through the biggest challenge in its history: the loss of its majority shareholder and major customer, Cathay Pacific, which in turn became Hactl’s competitor.

Hactl said that Whitehead led the handler to become the largest freighter ramp handler in Hong Kong, while its logistics subsidiary, Hacis, has undergone significant investment and expansion.

Whitehead said: “I look back with great satisfaction on what we achieved at Hactl and am clear that our extraordinary progress has only been possible through the drive, support and hard work of our workforce. I am proud to have led the team, and to have been part of such a strong ‘can do’ culture.

“I look forward to hearing about Hactl’s continuing growth and successes. For my own part, I have grown to love the air cargo industry, and the people in it.

"I still feel I have a lot to offer, and I look forward to opening a new chapter of opportunities and challenges - whatever and wherever they may be.”

The company handles over 100 airlines and more than 1.8m tonnes of cargo. Whitehead’s achievements were recently recognised by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors at their annual awards dinner, where he was named as one of its Directors Of The Year.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled more than 5m tonnes of cargo and airmail in 2017, the first time an airport has reached this level of throughput.

In total, HKIA saw air cargo throughput increase by 9.2% year on year to reach 4.9m tonnes, while mail volumes hit 112,000 tonnes.

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