Creative Artists Agency Undergoes Significant Shakeup

    • Former executive Nick Khan and prominent NFL agent Todd France left the agency.
    • In June, CAA cut nearly 20% of its staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Los Angeles-based entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency has parted ways with two of its more prominent figures. 

CAA announced Aug. 5 that Co-Head of Television Nick Khan is departing to become president and chief revenue officer of WWE, where he’ll report directly to CEO Vince McMahon. Former co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson left the company in January after clashing with McMahon.

Khan represented WWE, along with a number of high-profile sports media personalities and sports entities, since joining CAA in 2012. He negotiated WWE’s deals with Fox and NBCUniversal worth $468 million in 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

“Nick is a seasoned media executive with a deep understanding of our business and a proven track record of generating significant value for sports and entertainment properties,” McMahon said. “While representing WWE at CAA, he was instrumental in transforming our business model by securing domestic media rights increases of 3.6x over our previous agreements. Nick’s management style and personal demeanor are perfect for WWE’s entrepreneurial culture, and he will fit right in with our exceptional management team.”

Khan’s WWE contract is worth $3.1 million annually in salary and bonuses, and he also got a $5 million signing bonus and $15 million stock grant that vests over five years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Later in the week, powerful NFL agent Todd France and CAA “mutually agreed to part ways,” the Sports Business Journal reported Aug. 7. France represents a slew of top NFL players including Dak Prescott, DeAndre Hopkins, Aaron Donald and Kenny Golladay, among others.

It’s not clear at this time what the next move is for France, who recently was at the center of negotiations when Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys failed to agree on a contract extension by the July deadline.

Lowell Taub and Lis Moss also departed the agency in August. Taub, the former head of sports endorsements at CAA, and Moss co-represented several high-profile athletes, especially in emerging Olympic sports.

It has been a hectic period for CAA, which is majority owned by private equity firm TPG Capital.  In April, it cut pay agency wide by up to 50% and senior leaders Richard Lovett, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane all said they would take no salary for the year. In July, it let go of 90 agents and executives, and also furloughed 275 employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Deadline. It previously had about 2,000 employees.