Tim Chen, who has served as NBA China’s CEO since the enterprise was established in 2007, has announced that he will be leaving the position effective October 1st. Chen will still be involved with NBA China as head of Board of Directors.
NBA China CFO, Steve Richard, has been named as the brand’s interim CEO.
NBA China was established by David Stern three years ago to act as a separate, self-supervising division responsible for the League’s operation in Greater China. The decision to consolidate China’s operations into one entity was a major one, as China’s operations were previously run from the NBA’s New York offices.
Under Chen’s guidance, who spear-headed Microsoft China’s revival before linking up with Stern, NBA China has made excellent progress expanding its brand in the mainland through successful marketing and partnerships with Chinese and multinational companies. I’m reminded of this every time I drink a Qingdao beer. Or when I drink milk. Or the two times a year I can watch live NBA basketball at 7pm from my Beijing apartment.
However, most sectors of commercialism in China, the NBA’s presence here is still quite young and has a lot of room for growth, as we’ve been seeing with all of these NBA player shoe deals. The League has only scratched the surface.
For more on what NBA China’s been up to since it’s inception three years ago, check this out.