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CBA’s first CEO makes surprise exit

Beijing Ducks in action against Tianjin Pioneers during 2019-20 CBA League (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

The CBA has announced the shock departure of Wang Dawei, who became the top Chinese basketball league’s first chief executive 14 months ago.

Announcing the news, the CBA said that Wang had left for “personal reasons”.

Wang was named as the league’s chief executive in May last year after receiving support from Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming, the CBA chairman who will now take charge of the league’s day-to-day operations.

Before joining the CBA, he was senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of NBA China for over a decade.

Wang spearheaded several key changes to the CBA league, which included flexibility on tip-off times to cater to broadcasters and sponsors, an extension of the regular season to a lighter schedule of eight games every three weeks to allow players to recover, and a major revamp of officiating standards.

The CBA took its commercial rights sales in-house in 2017 after the end of its exclusive agreement with the Infront agency (which did retain its role selling rights to China’s national basketball teams).

The CBA resumed on June 20 after the suspension caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.