NBA China says CEO Derek Chang leaving in May

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA China is looking for a new CEO after the league announced Thursday that Derek Chang is leaving May 15.

Chang took the position in June 2018. He plans to return to his family in London.

His time on the job was marked by two difficult periods. One came last fall when the league and Chinese government clashed in response to a tweet by Houston general manager Daryl Morey backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. There was also the ongoing fallout and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While Chang was in charge the league opened the largest NBA Store outside of North America in Beijing. In addition, there was an expansion of some NBA deals with Chinese media partners.

“We are thankful for Derek’s many contributions leading our business and colleagues in China, including during a time of unprecedented challenges,” said Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer.

The search for Chang’s replacement has begun.