Mary Gu Shuhang, previously regional president and managing director of the Special Olympics International in East Asia, has been named CEO of CAA China, which was formed in April. The agency, of course, has been doing business in China for over a decade so Gu will be a new, but known executive in the region for CAA. She will work with CAA China’s motion pictures head Jonah Greenberg and Roeg Sutherland, Head of CAA’s Global Film Finance and Sales Group along with Daniel Manwaring (film finance) to guide the talent agency’s growth in the market for both entertainment and sports.
CAA China, a media and entertainment platform was recently formed in partnership with CAA and CMC Capital Partners (CMC), who is a leading Chinese investment fund in media and entertainment, Internet technology and content, lifestyle and live events. Gu’s job is to “build upon CAA’s 12 years of experience in the region to further its efforts in sports services, branded content, live events, television, and music touring, while continuing to foster its market-leadership in motion pictures and film finance, throughout Greater China,” the announcement stated.
While at the Special Olympics, Gu oversaw the growth and development of the region which boasts 1.3M athletes across China, Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei, Korea, and Mongolia.
“In our 12 years in China, we have built the region’s largest and most successful motion picture agency,” said Richard Lovett, President, CAA in making the announcement this morning. “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.”
Gu served as VP of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Executive Committee, director of public relations and Deputy Director of large scale events of the 2007 Special Olympics World Games Steering Committee as well as President of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games Opening Ceremony production service company. During this time, she managed the fundraising efforts for the Games and produced the opening ceremonies, which, for the first time in Special Olympics history, was broadcast live on five channels on China Central Television and various international TV networks.
She was also President of the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 where the “Dream Cube” set a new standard for Expo designs and large-scale public experiences, receiving more than four million visitors and garnering an array of international awards, including Best Pop-Up/Brand Pavilion at the 2010 Event Design Awards.
She is also co-founder of China’s premier track and field event, the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, and previously served in senior capacities for such luxury hotel brands as Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La.
“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 Li Ruigang, at this very important moment in the company’s growth plan,” said Gu.
Majority-owned by CAA, CAA China launched in April 2017 after CAA opened its China office in 2005. The company has been packaging, sold or raised financing for Chinese co-productions over the past 10 years.
CAA China also recently launched a long-term film fund to be jointly managed with Bona Film Group, with an initial investment of $150 million. The fund will focus on financing English-language films for the global marketplace, Chinese co-productions, and Chinese-language films for the local market. With this initial funding, CAA says it has now directed more than a half a billion dollars of Chinese capital into English-language content.
In May 2017, CAA China brokered a deal for Beijing Weying Technology Co., Ltd., the leading online ticketing and marketing platform in China, to acquire nine French films, including Cannes Official Selections and Palm D’Or contenders Loveless, Redoubtable, Rodin, You Were Never Really Here, A Gentle Creature, Ismael’s Ghosts, Tesnota, 12 Jours and Racer and the Jailbird.