Gao took over as CEO of Legendary when founder Thomas Tull exited in January. Zeng Maojun, president of Wanda Film Holding Co., is set to step in as interim head of Legendary. Head of Legendary production, Mary Parent is set to stay.
The news of Gao’s exit comes after Chinese investors Oceanwide Holdings Co. and Zhejiang Huace Film & TV Co. have left their investments in Legendary Entertainment. It also comes after the news that China’s state banks were instructed not to lend to Wanda after their aggressive move to expand overseas.
In 2015, Gao joined the Dalian Wanda Group, owned by Wang Jianlin, as CEO of international investments and operations. While in this position he advised Wang on international expansion. Prior to Wanda and Legendary, Gao was previously the senior vice president for News Corporation as well as the president and general manager of Microsoft China.
Legendary Entertainment is known for releasing box office draws such as Straight Outta Compton, The Great Wall, and Kong Skull Island. Their next movie, Pacific Rim Uprising is set to open on March 23, 2018.