Gillian Zhao, a Chinese entertainment and tech industry veteran, has been named exec VP and managing director of Warner Bros. China, becoming the company’s first-ever manager for China, chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced on Tuesday.
Zhao will have general oversight of all of Warner Bros.’ businesses in China, including theatrical distribution, television distribution, home entertainment, consumer products, games, and emerging distribution technologies.
Tsujihara described her as a “multi-faceted executive with a great background across the entertainment and tech sectors in China.”
“As we look to expand all of our businesses in China, Gillian’s know-how, experience, and contacts will give us a competitive advantage,” said Tsujihara.
Richard Fox, Warner Bros.’ exec VP of international, whom Zhao will report to, added “she will bring us a more market-oriented and localized approach.”
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Zhao served as senior assistant to the president of Wanda Culture Group and CEO of Wanda Pictures. During her tenure, Wanda Pictures grew into China’s top privately owned film company, grossing more than $1 billion at the box office in 2015.
She has also worked at Bona Film Group and Celestial Entertainment China, and held senior executive posts at Star TV.
“I’m excited and honored to be named to this post and look forward to taking the company’s in-country operations to the next level,” said Zhao. “Warner Bros. has the brands, characters, and films that resonate with and are so loved by Chinese audiences, so we have unlimited potential and opportunity in this high-growth market.”