Endeavor China Appoints Sum Huang as New CEO

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Endeavor’s China subsidiary has appointed Sum Huang as its chief executive, the company said Tuesday.

Huang was most recently the co-founder and partner of Shanghai-headquartered content provider XG Entertainment, which raised capital from Alibaba CICC and YF Capital during his tenure.  He helped the company build its content development and production business, produced live concerts, and established a branded content team that formed a TikTok-based multi-channel media business.

“Sum’s entrepreneurial background and deep understanding of media will help us enhance the strong offering we’ve built across entertainment, sports and fashion in China and APAC more broadly,” said Endeavor president Mark Shapiro. “In this next phase of our growth, Sum will ensure we continue delivering exceptional local-market expertise for our clients and partners while expanding our footprint across the region.”

Huang will step into the shoes of former Endeavor China CEO Michael Ma, who left the company last summer for a role as the NBA’s China CEO, where he will take on the thorny task of rebuilding the league’s relations with China after a 2019 spat over comments about Hong Kong. Before Huang’s appointment, John Steere had served for a year as Endeavor China’s interim CEO.

Before XG Entertainment, Huang spent five years at Hony Capital, where he was involved in deals with ByteDance and SMG Pictures and led the firm’s investment in the TMT sector in China and the U.S. Prior to Hony, Huang worked at New York-based private-equity firm AEA Investors and Jefferies & Co.

Huang is a jury member of the BAFTA China Breakthrough Awards and serves as a guest lecturer at institutions including the London School of Economics and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. A graduate of Fudan University, Huang received his MBA from China Europe International Business School and Milan’s SDA Bocconi.

Endeavor subsidiary Endeavor China was formed in 2016 through an investment group that included Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, and affiliates of FountainVest Partners. In China, the company has represented celebrities, actors and athletes; managed professional golf and tennis events such as the WGC HSBC Champions and the Shenzhen Open; negotiated media rights on behalf of entities like the Chinese Super League; operated mass participation events like the Beijing Triathalon; and consulted on events like Shenzhen Fashion Week.

Like many other entertainment firms, Endeavor is still in the midst of bouncing back from setbacks encountered during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, its first quarterly earnings release since its April 29 IPO showed that it had turned a small profit. It posted a net income of $2.4 million in the quarter that ended March 31, down from $51.4 million in last year’s comparable quarter. Total revenue hit $1.07 billion, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $199.5 million .

In 2020, the firm posted a net loss of $625.3 million for the year.

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