Wanda Sports China, a subsidiary of Chinese sports marketing company Wanda Sports Group, has appointed Yimin Gao as president and chief executive officer. Gao will replace Dongwei Yang, who has resigned.
Yang has also quit from his position on the company’s board of directors, for personal reasons, according to a Wanda Sports Group press release. Gao is expected to soon be appointed to the board.
Wanda Sports China manages Wanda Sports Group’s events in China, including the China Cup national team tournament, the Tour of Guangxi cycle race, Ironman events, the Chengdu International Marathon and Badminton World Federation events.
Gao was previously the chief executive of Wanda KIDSPLACE, one of the largest operators of children’s early-education centres and playgrounds in China, and has held various positions of responsibility in the culture and real estate subsidiaries of Wanda Group.
Hengming Yang, president and chief executive of Wanda Sports Group, said: “Yimin is a talented executive, who brings a deep understanding of China’s evolving demographics and the important role that the rising middle class has on the country’s future growth.
“We are confident that Yimin and our talented China team will accelerate our strategic growth in China. We also thank Dongwei for his leadership over the past three years, including his work to build up our China platform.”
Wanda Sports Group, a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, made its debut on the Nasdaq stock market in the US on July 26. The listing had a rocky start, including a reduction to $308m of a planned total offering of $500m. The share price dropped in the days after the listing but later recovered.
Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world. Its holdings include the Infront agency and the World Triathlon Corporation, owner of the Ironman brand.