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CAA China Names Mary Gu CEO

Agency brings on ex-Special Olympics exec to run China venture

CAA China, the new joint venture from Hollywood powerhouse Creative Artists Agency and China’s CMC Capital Partners, has tapped former Special Olympics exec Mary Gu Shuhang as its chief executive officer.

In her new role, Gu will work alongside Jonah Greenberg, who spearhead’s CAA China’s movie business, Roeg Sutherland, co-head of the agency’s Global Film Finance and Sales Group, and Daniel Manwaring, who leads CAA’s Chinese film finance practice.

Gu is a veteran sports and entertainment executive who has held leadership positions including vice president of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Executive Committee; and president of the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. She is also a co-founder of the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, a Chinese track and field event.

CAA and CMC Capital formed CAA China in April as a full-fledged media and entertainment platform. The agency opened its China office in 2005 and currently counts more than two dozen employees in its Beijing office. The agency has been involved with every major Chinese co-production in the last decade and has either packaged, sold, or raised financing for more than 75 Chinese-language movies. CAA’s Global Film Finance & Sales Group has helped guide more $400 million in Chinese funds into English-language programming.

“In our 12 years in China, we have built the region’s largest and most successful motion picture agency,” CAA President Richard Lovett said in a statement.  “Now, we are moving into the next stage of our strategic growth plan for CAA China.  Mary will accelerate this momentum using her expertise and network of relationships to further diversify our capabilities and reach in sports and entertainment throughout the region.”

“I have tremendous respect for the business CAA has built in China, and am honored to join CAA China, under the visionary leadership of Richard Lovett and [CMC Chairman] Li Ruigang, at this very important moment in the company’s growth plan,” Gu said in the statement.  “I look forward to utilizing my network of relationships and in-market experience to help create new opportunities for the agency and our clients in an array of new business areas, while working closely with Jonah, Roeg, and the team to continue to nurture our thriving motion picture business throughout the region.”

“I have admired Mary since first meeting her 10 years ago through our work with the Special Olympics,” Greenberg said in the statement.  “We have done a lot together over the years and I could not be more excited to welcome her to the CAA family.”