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CAA has appointed motion picture literary department co-head Risa Gertner and global chief HR officer Sherrie Sage Schwartz to its management committee, a group that already includes chief innovation officer Michelle Kydd Lee, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sherrie and Risa to the management team and are enormously excited about their important contributions in this new role,” CAA president Richard Lovett said Monday in a statement. “Risa is not only a fantastically talented agent, but a proven and respected business leader with an acute understanding of the company, our clients and the marketplace. Sherrie has been an outstanding leader of our people efforts companywide, building a first-class global human resources infrastructure and initiating successful strategic initiatives to improve hiring, training, development, benefits and ways of working. Risa and Sherrie are extraordinary executives whose voices at the company leadership level will have lasting impact.”
Gertner, who has been with CAA since 1996, represents Ron Howard, new client Seth MacFarlane, Simon Kinberg, Alex Kurtzman, Susannah Grant, Tony Gilroy and J.C. Chandor. “I am proud to have held a leadership role at CAA for nearly 20 years, and to work with so many talented and smart colleagues in our department and around the agency,” said Gertner. “Our company leaders have demonstrated exceptional stewardship and I am excited to play an even larger role in ensuring that CAA remains the best in the business.”
Before joining CAA in February 2015, Schwartz was senior vp of HR at Activision Publishing, and she also previously served as an HR executive at Levi Strauss & Co., Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert Co. and Kraft Foods. “I’ve been fortunate in my role to work with a superb management team who lead the agency with vision, purpose and dignity,” said Schwartz. “They have been clear about and enormously supportive of the HR team’s efforts to make sure CAA is always the best place one could choose to work, at all experience levels and from any background. We believe a diverse environment of intelligent, energized, thoughtful and empowered employees brings out the best in everyone and creates the finest possible service for our clients.”
In addition, the agency is launching two operational groups, focusing on Finance and People & Culture, that will advise the management committee. The 35 women and men comprising the groups include department heads and emerging leaders.
“We have industry thought leaders and executives across all divisions and around the world,” said Lovett. “As our company continues its rapid and successful growth, the new operating groups provide a more structured approach to capitalizing on this unique business advantage, to create greater opportunity for our company and clients. With a rich diversity of voices represented by senior and emerging leaders from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds, we will be that much stronger on all operational fronts.”
The moves come amid an industry-wide excavation of sexual misconduct in the workplace, driven by a flood of revelations across the business in the aftermath of two Harvey Weinstein exposés published nearly two months ago. CAA itself was caught in the crossfire when it fired agent Cameron Mitchell on Nov. 17 after an actress claiming to be his client sued him for sexual assault and the agency for allegedly ignoring her report. CAA has denied the accusations against the agency.
Nov. 27, 12:17 p.m. Added additional quotes and context.
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