Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell Planning Annual Power Conference
The WME heads are working with Google executive chair Eric Schmidt to put together the event.
WME co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are organizing a new meeting of the most powerful minds in entertainment, tech and finance, among other fields. The gathering could serve as an alternative to Allen & Co.’s annual Sun Valley conference, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
WME is working with Google executive chair Eric Schmidt to plan the event, which also has the support of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad and Kleiner Perkins general partner John Doerr, as well as Mukesh Ambani, chairman and CEO of Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, and Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, which invested $200 million in Facebook in 2009. The New York Post first reported the plans.
A WME source tells THR that Emanuel and Whitesell are “part of the group” planning the conference but will not run it.
Emanuel and Whitesell might have been testing the format last year at the agency’s annual retreat, when it invited speakers outside the entertainment industry, such as Karl Rove, Al Gore and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreessen. Schmidt reportedly also was in attendance.
The new confab would fill the void left by the annual conference hosted by Forstmann Little, whose founder, Teddy Forstmann, died in 2011. Forstmann and Emanuel were close friends, and they reportedly had discussed hosting a gathering together.