Looks like Creative Artists Agency is still hungry to make deals. It just picked a CFO, James Burtson, who’s best known in financial circles for his work as a Time Warner SVP where he oversaw global mergers and acquisitions. He was involved with the media giant’s spin offs of Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc., and purchases of content and new media properties.
He’ll move into his new job on July 13, replacing Jeff Berry, who joined CAA in 2012. In addition to his work at Time Warner, where he began his career as a financial analyst, Burtson worked at Clear Channel Communications and J.P. Morgan.
The new appointment “is a meaningful next step in our company’s evolution,” CAA President Richard Lovett says. Burtson’s “blend of deep financial and strategic experience will ensure that we continue along the path of strategically building our unique and growing global platform.”
Over the last 18 months CAA has made six acquisitions and other investments in sports, corporate marketing, licensing, and live events. Its affiliated investment bank, Evolution Media Capital, along with TPG Growth and Participant Media, have invested $350 million in Evolution Media Partners. It owns stakes in clothing retailer Fred Segal, iconic music instrument maker Fender, and other media, technology and consumer growth companies.
CAA says that it was “the first to build a sports business, create an investment bank, launch a venture fund, found technology start-up companies, establish a presence in China, create a brand marketing services arm, and start a successful growth equity vehicle, among other industry innovations.”
TPG Co-Founder Jim Coulter, an investor in CAA, lauded Burtson’s “strategic expertise, financial acumen and industry experience makes him the ideal person to help lead CAA into its next chapter of growth.”
The new CFO says the opportunity “is incredibly inspiring and humbling.”