WME-IMG China Adds 4 New Hires

Agency announced additions of Rick Yan, Joe Austin, David He and Bruce Li to Chinese office


WME-IMG China announced Tuesday that it has brought on former Paramount executive Rick Yan, film finance agent Joe Austin, live entertainment executive David He, and former Nike basketball marketing executive Bruce Li.

Yan, a 22-year entertainment industry veteran who worked the last six years at Paramount Pictures, will head WME-IMG China’s film and television operations. Austin, who has spent the last eight years at WME-IMG, will relocate to China from the agency’s Beverly Hills office.

“Rick [Yan] was completing digital distribution deals in China for major studios before most companies were even equipped to explore the potential of digital,” Michael Ma, WME-IMG China’s CEO, said in a statement. “With support from Joe [Austin], he will turn his focus to connecting WME-IMG’s content partners with an unprecedented demand for content in China.”

He, who has spent 15 years in the live event space working for firms including Ticketmaster, will oversee WME-IMG China’s live entertainment division.

“David [He] has rich experience attracting and staging major live events, as well as a deep network of relationships with entertainment and ticketing companies, sports associations, and government authorities,” Ma said in the statement.

Li, a former professional tennis player and 12-year Nike executive, will head WME-IMG’s professional and amateur basketball strategy in China as well as support its growth in other sports.

“Beyond his extensive basketball and tennis background, Bruce [Li] combines a dynamic marketing approach with a strong ability to cultivate relationships with blue-chip brands,” Ma said in the statement.

Ma took over the top job at WME-IMG China six weeks ago after a 13-year career at the NBA.