Ma Guoli to step back as Infront Chinas Chairman of the Board of Directors at the end of March 2016
David Yang to take over as Infront China’s Executive Chairman - Anne Zhao will continue to lead the subsidiary as Managing Director
Beijing, China/Zug, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media has announced that Ma Guoli is to leave the international sports marketing company at the end of March 2016. He decided to step back from the role as Chairman of the Infront China Board of Directors on his own accord, in order to pursue a new challenge in the Chinese media industry. The sports business professional David Yang is to take over as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors 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.
Substantial presence in the Chinese sports market
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media and Wanda Sports Holding, added: “We much regret that Ma Guoli has taken the decision to leave Infront but are hugely appreciative of his support and tremendous dedication over the years. Benefitting from his expertise and network as Managing Director of Infront China and later as Chairman of the Board, Infront has been able to build a substantial presence in the Chinese sports market since 2005. On behalf of the global Infront network, I wish him the very best for his future, both professionally and personally.”
Ma Guoli added: “With David Yang and Anne Zhao, Infront China has reputable and experienced sports marketing experts at its helm and is well set for the onward journey. My personal thanks go to the entire Infront team for an inspiring time, and I am convinced that the group faces a successful future under the roof of the Wanda Sports Holding – embracing the momentum of the Chinese sports industry and continuing its successful growth globally. I hope there will be opportunities for me to collaborate in some way again in the future, within China’s prospering sports landscape and diversifying digital media industry.”
Infront China’s designated Executive Chairman David Yang is a long-standing sports business professional. He 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, David has built and managed relationships with key marketing partners, media companies, and government institutions. As a result, he brings extensive experience in sports as well as a broader international spectrum of business development and management. Furthermore, he draws rich knowledge from his past experiences at Merrill Lynch Asia, Enron, Deloitte and Touche. David Yang holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree and an MPA from the University of Texas and a Bachelor’s degree from Nankai University in China.
Key role as CEO of Wanda Sports China
In addition to his role as Executive Chairman of the Board at Infront China, David Yang was recently appointed to lead the operations of Wanda Sports China as a CEO. Wanda Sports China is a group company of Wanda Sports Holding alongside Infront Sports & Media and IRONMAN – supporting specific initiatives relating to the Chinese sports market (e.g. the expansion of IRONMAN in the Chinese market, with the races in Xiamen and Hefei already confirmed). In his role as CEO of Wanda Sports China, David Yang will report into Philippe Blatter as President & CEO of Wanda Sports Holding.
Philippe Blatter added: “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.”
David Yang, CEO of Wanda Sports China and designated Executive Chairman of the Board of Infront China, added: “It is a great honour to join Wanda Sports Holding at this exciting and promising time, and I look forward to working closely with the international teams as well with Infront China’s Managing Director Anne Zhao. Linking our local understanding and network with the global expertise of the group, we can set new benchmarks in Chinese sports and beyond.”
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.
About Wanda Sports Holding
Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – both in spectator and participant sports. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.