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WME-IMG China Expands With New Hires in Entertainment and Sports Departments

Variety logo Variety 12/14/2016 Justin Kroll
© Provided by Variety

WME-IMG has hired entertainment veteran Rick Yan, film finance agent Joe Austin, live entertainment executive David He, and basketball marketing veteran Bruce Li.

Yan, who who spent the past six years with Paramount Pictures, will lead WME-IMG China’s film and television entertainment efforts, bridging the Chinese demand for premium entertainment content with Hollywood’s interest in globalizing its production and distribution.

“Rick [Yan] was completing digital distribution deals in China for major studios before most companies were even equipped to explore the potential of digital,” said Michael Ma, CEO of WME-IMG China. “With support from Joe [Austin], he will turn his focus to connecting WME-IMG’s content partners with an unprecedented demand for content in China.”

Austin will join Yan in the department and will now focus on the Chinese market. Austin spent the past eight years at WME in its global film and television finance and distribution department. During his tenure, he’s helped secure deals for numerous acclaimed projects, including the upcoming “HHhH,” “Kin,” and “Hidden Figures.” Austin and the WME team are also finalizing a landmark multi-project movie and content deal with WME-IMG China investor Tencent on behalf of acclaimed writer, director, and producer David S. Goyer and his partner Kevin Turen.

He also joins WME-IMG China to oversee its live entertainment division. He spent the past 15 years leading live event efforts for the likes of Taihe Media, Damai, and Ticketmaster, serving as a link between China and the global entertainment industry.

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