Warner Bros. has appointed Chinese entertainment and tech industry veteran Gillian Zhao as the company’s first-ever country manager for China.
In the newly created position of EVP and MD for Warner Bros. China, Zhao will expand Chinese operations by working closely with the company’s existing executives across all of its divisions, including movies and television distribution, home entertainment, consumer products, games and new distribution technologies.
She will report to Richard Fox, Warner Bros. EVP of international.
Zhao was most recently senior assistant to the president of Wanda Culture Group, China’s largest cultural enterprise that recently entered the country’s theme park fray, while also serving as CEO of Wanda Pictures, China’s leading privately owned film company. She also previously held executive positions at Bona Film Group, Celestial Entertainment China and Star TV China.
Her nearly two decades of tech experience includes stints as MD of Apple China, deputy GM of Microsoft China and channel marketing manager for IBM China.
Zhao’s appointment comes after Warner Bros. secured a deal with Shanghai-based CMC Holdings in 2015 to form the joint-venture Flagship Entertainment Group, which aims to grow local-language content in China.