Rupert Hogg has stepped down as chief executive of Cathay Pacific.
Hogg warned on Monday staff could be fired if they “support or participate in illegal protests” in Hong Kong.
Last week, China ordered the airline to suspend workers who support pro-democracy protests in the territory.
Based in Hong Kong, the Chinese market is seen as vital to the success of Cathay.
At the same time, Paul Loo has stepped down as chief customer and commercial officer.
Hogg stated: “These have been challenging weeks for the airline and it is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company.”
Hong Kong has been rocked by over two months of anti-government protests.
Hogg will be replaced as chief executive by Augustus Tang, while Ronald Lam has stepped in as chief customer and commercial officer.
John Slosar, chairman of Cathay Pacific, commented: “Augustus Tang and Ronald Lam have the experience and depth of knowledge of aviation and our people to be strong and effective leaders of Cathay Pacific at this sensitive time.”
He added: “Rupert Hogg and his team executed the three-year transformation programme which has been important to Cathay Pacific’s recovery and provides a strong platform for continued development.
“However, recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure.
“This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority.
“We therefore think it is time to put a new management team in place who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights.
“Cathay Pacific is fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ as enshrined in the Basic Law.”