The THR 100: Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful People in Entertainment
Group Vice President/CEO, International Investments and Operations
Wanda Cultural Industrial Group
One of Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin's trusted deputies, Gao, 57, was instrumental in negotiating Wanda's $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, which marked the first time a Chinese company had bought a U.S. studio responsible for global tentpole productions. His cross-border acumen has helped inspire the next generation of Chinese business leaders; his 2003 book Experience Microsoft, about his tenure at the company, was a popular read among China's tech community. If Wanda ever makes a play for one of the six U.S. studios, as many have speculated it someday will, Gao will be at the negotiating table.
BIG WIN Legendary's first release under Wanda, Warcraft, opened to $156 million in China, more than six times its U.S. debut.
BIG BET Wanda's Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, a $10 billion wager that China will be a hotspot for production and distribution, is set to open in 2018.
I can't get through a day without …
An 8-mile run every morning.
Who's your most important adviser?
What's your hidden talent?
Ability to combat jet lag in no time.
If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
A cookie to go. I’m always on the road so the world is my commissary, and unfortunately, I usually start with the wrong side: the sweets.
- AAMA Silicon Valley