UTA has hired Lyndsay Harding as its new CFO, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. She succeeds Jeff Dalla Betta, who has served in the position for 20 years.
Harding, who will start at the agency on March 19, is coming from Amblin Partners, where she was appointed CFO in September 2014 (when the company was structured as DreamWorks Studios). Harding played a key role in forming Amblin Partners in December 2015, including helping to secure its distribution partnership with Universal Pictures and $500 million credit facility. A year later, she helped structure Amblin’s strategic partnership with Alibaba Pictures and most recently helped facilitate the sale of a minority stake to Universal.
“Lyndsay is an important addition to UTA’s accomplished senior management team,” UTA COO Andrew Thau said Wednesday in a statement. “A highly regarded and respected executive, Lyndsay brings tremendous experience both within the entertainment business and finance. As we continue to take advantage of the tremendous transformation taking place in an increasingly complex industry, Lyndsay’s role will be pivotal to our further diversification and growth.”
After graduating from Dartmouth, Harding moved to New York, where she worked as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ mergers and acquisitions group and then as an associate for JPMorgan Partners. She then received her MBA from Stanford and moved to the entertainment industry, first as a senior vp at MGM overseeing the studio’s corporate development and financial planning, and then as CFO at digital startup Evergreen Studios.
“Through acquisitions and expansion of its core business, UTA has built a platform that’s poised for tremendous growth,” said Harding. “I’m thrilled to be joining UTA at such an exciting time for the company and to be part of the leadership team that will build on past success to take UTA to the next level. While saying goodbye to my Amblin family won’t be easy, Jeremy Zimmer and the entire team at UTA have created a very special place, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to impact its future direction.”
According to UTA, Harding is the first woman to serve as CFO of a major talent agency. UTA also noted that it recently elevated Blair Kohan to its board of directors and donated $1 million to the Time’s Up fund (a founding contribution also given by CAA, WME, ICM Partners and Paradigm).