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Wanda Sports Group expands board with Jarrett appointment

Wanda Sports Group (WSG), the owner of the Infront agency and World Triathlon Corp., has expanded its board of directors by appointing Kenneth Jarrett as an independent director.

Jarrett, a recognised business leader and former diplomat, has been appointed as an independent director, effective immediately. The American will serve on WSG’s audit, compensation and nomination and corporate governance committees.

Jarrett, who has lived in China for over 20 years, is a senior advisor at Washington, D.C.-headquartered business strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group, based in the company’s Shanghai office.

Prior to assuming this role, he spent five years as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, the largest American business chamber in the Asia-Pacific region. From 2008 to 2013, he was chairman of Greater China for APCO Worldwide, a public affairs consultancy.

Lin Zhang, chairman of Wanda Sports Group’s board of directors, said: “Ken’s track record of helping global companies and investors develop winning strategies in China and around the world, combined with his deep understanding of US-China relations, the geopolitical environment and international economic issues will be incredibly valuable to our company.”

Jarrett added: “I look forward to working with the other board members and the management team to capture the many opportunities that lie ahead, including leveraging WSG’s successful global businesses – Infront and Ironman – to accelerate our growth in China.”

The WTC’s Ironman has been at the centre of an ambitious takeover bid. Earlier this month, the Professional Triathletes Organisation responded to WSG’s rejection of its bid to purchase the organisation, stating that it intended to pursue the acquisition and that “the triathlon community would be well served by a new owner”.

The Infront agency last month revealed details of its first major structural reorganisation since 2006 by forming four core business units, a new management board and executive committee, while announcing two senior departures.

Infront said the revamp would align it with future business needs, consistent with the overall structure and strategic direction of its parent company. The transformation followed WSG’s debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange in July with its downsized initial public offering.