Merlin Swire will take over as chairman of blue chip Hong Kong developer Swire Properties as the sixth-generation Swire family scion moves into the top role for the Swire Pacific group, as well as its real estate and aircraft divisions.
The management change was announced in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday by the group’s four listed units.
Swire, who has been serving as CEO of London-based John Swire and Son’s since 2015 also currently serves as a director of Swire Pacific, Swire Properties, Cathay Pacific and the company’s aircraft division, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO). The 44-year-old is set to take the reins at Swire Pacific, Swire Properties and HAECO on July 1st, according to the statement
“After 20 years in the business I am delighted to be returning to Asia as Chairman of Swire Pacific during such a dynamic time in the development of China and the region,” Swire said in a statement. “This move back to Hong Kong reflects how important Hong Kong is to the group’s business and reaffirms the Swire family’s long-term commitment to Swire Pacific at a time of rapid change and exciting growth opportunities.”
Slosar Retires From Swire Properties After 38 Years
Merlin Swire’s ascension comes as John Slosar, prepares to scale back his role in the group’s business after 38 years with the two-hundred year old group.
Slosar, 61, will retire as chairman and director of Swire Pacific, as well as its listed units Swire Properties Limited and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO), after working for the group for nearly 38 years. The graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York and Cambridge University, will stay on as chairman of airline subsidiary Cathay Pacific.
After joining the group in 1980, Slosar became chairman of Swire Pacific and Swire Properties in 2014. In his continuing role as chairman of Cathay Pacific, the executive is charged with overseeing a three-year cost-cutting and transformation programme by the loss-making airline.
Young Swire Already an APAC Veteran
Slosar’s retirement paves the way for the great-great-great-grandson of group founder John Swire to take the the top role in the company’s Hong Kong-based empire. Having worked for his family business for 20 years, including stints in Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Xiamen and London, Merlin Swire will be the first Swire family member to serve as chairman of the group.
The departing chairman described his successor as highly experienced and “more than ready” to take on the role in the statement. “As Chairman, he will deepen our key relationships in the region and will lead the group in its next chapter of growth. Our future is in good hands,” Slosar added. Currently based in London, Merlin Swire will be relinquishing his CEO role with the London firm after relocating to Hong Kong.