Infront Sports & Media has said Ma Guoli will step down as chairman of the agency’s Chinese division, while David Yang, an executive with North American basketball league the NBA, has been recruited to aid growth in the market.
Infront said Guoli elected to step back from the role as chairman of the Infront China board of directors of his own accord, in order to pursue a new challenge in the Chinese media industry. He will leave the agency at the end of March.
Yang will take over as executive chairman of Infront China. The day-to-day business operations at the subsidiary will remain unchanged and continue under the charge of managing director Anne Zhao.
Yang has worked for the NBA for over a decade in its New York headquarters, Hong Kong and Beijing in various capacities. As senior vice-president, he has built and managed relationships with key marketing partners, media companies and government institutions.
In addition to his role as executive chairman at Infront China, Yang was recently appointed to lead the operations of the Wanda Sports China division of the Dalian Wanda conglomerate as chief executive.
Wanda Sports China is a group company of Wanda Sports Holding alongside Infront and triathlon series Ironman – supporting specific initiatives relating to the Chinese sports market. In his role as chief executive of Wanda Sports China, Yang will report into Philippe Blatter as president and chief executive of Wanda Sports Holding.
Blatter said: “We welcome David Yang as part of our global team and are pleased to have this proven sports marketing professional contribute his expertise and network. We are convinced that David Yang will help us, jointly with Anne Zhao, to raise operations in China to the next level and create strong synergies across all the businesses held under the roof of the Wanda Sports Holding.”