Chief Executive Officer, Pearl Studio
Frank Zhu is chief executive officer of Pearl Studio and leads an executive leadership team focused on developing and creating extraordinary world-class entertainment content and experiences for consumers in China and around the globe. He was appointed to his current position in May, 2016. Respected and recognized for his accomplishments throughout the entertainment industry, Zhu brings to Pearl a broad range of leadership experiences from some of the most significant and successful entertainment companies in the world, where he was involved or responsible for the creation of animated content, production, marketing, promotion, brand management, and the full development and exploitation of the many ancillary businesses that entertainment franchises generate. Zhu is a founding member of Pearl Studio’s corporate executive team and previously served as the Vice President of the company.
Zhu has extensive experience in management. Prior to joining Pearl Studio, Zhu co-founded leading children’s entertainment and media company in China Taomee, and served as its executive vice president, where he successfully brought the company public (NYSE:TAOM) in June 2011. During his time tenure at Taomee, Zhu was the chief producer of 300 episodes of the hit Chinese animated TV series “Mole” and “Seer,” as well as five animated feature films which ranked among the greatest of all-time at the domestic box office.
Prior to Taomee, Zhu played a key role for the Disney organisation working at the Walt Disney China representative office and later the Walt Disney Co. (China) for five years, where he was one of the first professional managers of The Walt Disney Company (China), ushering in the golden age of Disney’s ancillary businesses in China. During his time with the legendary company, he established Disney China’s Toys licensing business.
Zhu graduated from FuDan University with a Marketing major.
China’s content boom has driven production budgets to record highs and given a whole new profile to Chinese stories and movies around the world. At the same time, the country remains a magnet for Korean and Taiwanese talent, Chinese authorities are backing an unprecedented international agenda, and nimble deal making is keeping more international players on their toes. The challenges include shifting regulations, fast-forward time lines, and sometimes incompatible processes. Frank Zhu, chief executive of Shanghai-based Pearl Studios, talks about the space between rampant opportunity and dramatic busts in a market where animated films have $100 million budgets, where pitfalls are as common as dreams of fortune, and where enthusiasm for local partnerships is as high as the push for cross-border content investment and development.