Wanda Sports Holding has appointed Hengming Yang as the company’s new CEO (effective 1 November 2016) while Wanda Sports’ former CEO Philippe Blatter is the newly appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wanda Sports Holding.
The Wanda Sports Holding Board of Directors will from now on be led by Lincoln Zhang as Chairman and Philippe Blatter as Vice-Chairman. As President and Vice Chairman of Wanda Sports Holding, Philippe Blatter remains Vice President and a member of the management of Wanda Cultural Industry Group. His responsibilities as President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media remain unchanged.
Wanda Sports Holding is billed as 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 – in three key areas: 1) spectator sports (media & marketing business), 2) participation sports (active lifestyle business), 3) services (digital, production and service business).
Led by President and Vice Chairman of the Board Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The company headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
The strategic step to appoint a China-focused CEO was seen as ‘necessary due to the immense growth of administrative duties, the growing need to personally engage with Chinese governmental authorities and representatives of provinces and cities in China and the regional ground work to be conducted by the Wanda Sports Holding CEO’.
After an intense search Hengming Yang was ‘identified as the perfect match to fill this position’. Hengming Yang has also acted as British Petroleum’s (BP) President Greater China, where he was heading BP’s strategy, management and operations in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The 50-year old executive possesses ‘excellent managerial skills and will contribute his extensive experience dealing with Chinese authorities and leveraging his broad network of contacts to Chinese authorities, provinces and cities’.
As an experienced manager specialized in business administration, Hengming Yang will assist Philippe Blatter and play an important role in the implementation of Wanda Sports Holding’s strategy and business performance management. He will be based in Beijing and directly report to Philippe Blatter.
Lincoln Zhang, President of Wanda Cultural Industry Group and Chairman of Wanda Sports Holding said “As Wanda Sports Holding’s business volume rises – not only, but particularly in China – a full time presence of the CEO in Beijing is required. Acknowledging this need, we fully supported Philippe Blatter’s suggestion to appoint an experienced Chinese executive to manage the Wanda Sports Holding administration and to strengthen our contacts to Chinese authorities and to provinces and cities.”
He continued, “As Vice Chairman and President, Philippe Blatter will continue to report into me. I am very much looking forward to further extend our fruitful and trusted successful collaboration.”
Philippe Blatter, President and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wanda Sports Holding said “With Hengming Yang we are happy that our search for an experienced Chinese executive has come to a successful conclusion. Through his experience with Chinese authorities I can foster my focus on our clients and the further growth of our businesses, the holding’s strategic development and our M&A activities.
“At the same time, I will continue to lead Infront and help creating value for our many stakeholders and partners. Hengming Yang will be best positioned to fulfil all the administrative and representative requirements in China for a company with the scale and impact of Wanda Sports Holding and we will collaborate strongly to continue our successful path going forward.”
Hengming Yang, new CEO of Wanda Sports Holding said ”I am glad and honoured to be joining Wanda Sports Holding, the leading sports company in the world. Together with Lincoln Zhang and Philippe Blatter I am very much looking forward to tackle the vast growth opportunities in China and beyond.”