Top Hollywood agent Philip Sun, a partner at WME, is jumping ship and heading to Charles D. King’s Macro, where he will help launch a new management firm, M88, focused on amplifying the voices of diverse artists and creators.
Sun will lead the firm as president and managing partner, bringing clients such as Michael B. Jordan (who will continue to be repped by WME). The new management venture will be majority-owned by Macro, with the M standing for the multiplatform media company Macro and the 88 a reference to Sun’s Chinese heritage.
Macro will merge the management vertical it launched in January to represent filmmakers, actors, writers and multihyphenates with M88. Macro management partners Gaby Mena and Jelani Johnson will join forces with Sun at M88 as partners.
“I am truly thrilled to work directly with Phil again and to launch this new venture together,” King, who worked with Sun at WME in 2007, said in a statement. “His keen eye for talent, passion and advocacy for artists and authenticity and his deal making prowess are undeniable. Additionally, he is an exceptional executive and leader who completely aligns with the mission and values of MACRO in life and practice. We look forward to growing and building with him.”
King launched Macro in 2015. The company develops; produces and finances film, TV and digital content seeking to reflect more accurate portrayals of people of color.
Macro recently worked with Jordan on last year’s “Just Mercy,” which the company co-financed and for which King served as executive producer. Sun and Jordan built the actor’s award-winning production company, Outlier Society, which currently has first-look deals at Warner Bros. Pictures for film and Amazon Studios for TV. They created the first-ever corporate inclusion policy in partnership with Warner Media.
Sun’s client roster has also included Idris Elba, Riz Ahmed, Donald Glover, Gemma Chan, Lena Waithe, Rihanna and Naomi Scott. It’s unclear how many of them might follow Sun to the new venture.
Macro has garnered nine Oscar nominations since its inception, including four for “Mudbound,” which was the highest sale at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The company also executive-produced and co-financed Denzel Washington’s “Fences,” which also received four nominations, including Best Picture. The 2018 critical hit, Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You,” starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, was also produced and co-financed by the company.
“Charles has been a fierce advocate, pioneer and champion of multicultural storytelling and storytellers first as an agent/partner at WME and now as Founder & CEO of Macro. He is a unique force in the industry, and someone I deeply admire as a colleague and close confidante,” Sun said in a statement. “Given our aligned values and shared history, this partnership is a natural evolution and necessary step.”
Over the course of his career, Sun has ascended the ranks as one of the industry’s most prolific agents. “Our industry needs companies like M88 now more than ever, and we couldn’t be more proud that Phil is making this move,” Endeavor Executive Chairman Patrick Whitesell said in a statement. “He’s an incredible advocate for artists and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.”
Sun has graced THR’s Next Generation list, Empowerment list and A100 Most Impactful Asians list. He was one of the first Asian American agents to be promoted to partner at WME and has used his platform to push for change internally by co-founding Empower, WME’s company-wide program that ensures that employees at all levels feel supported rising through the agency — and externally as a board member of USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative.