Billboard Magazine interviewed Creative Artists Agency Managing Partner Rob Light on the occasion of their 35th Anniversary. I’ll share a couple of his responses:
You began working at CAA when you were in your mid-20s. What did you learn from CAA founder Mike Ovitz?
Mike was so prepared, so smart, so strategic. Nothing was haphazard. You never went into a meeting that you weren’t prepared for. I was just so impressed with what went into that because rock’n’roll is sort of off the cuff. He was incredibly team-oriented. I would watch in meetings the way he would get people to talk and reveal themselves and their dreams and their desires, and how we worked that into a strategy.
How important is diversity to you?
There has never been a barrier to entry here. I want great individuals. But I also want people who wouldn’t normally get an opportunity in the first place. This agency has done that in both our human resources department and summer intern program. When you aggressively try to do it, you open your eyes to a slightly different thing. We’ve made a real effort to do that. I think [we’re in] a better place for it.
Light also takes pride in CAA’s developing from within culture:
I don’t think you can duplicate this anywhere else. It’s cultural. It’s not bricks and mortar. I believe—and it’s not false modesty—that if I left tomorrow and Darryl Eaton were sitting here or Mitch Rose or Rick Roskin or Emma Banks this place would keep humming. Because we built it in a way that that’s what it’s supposed to be. It’s a very special place.
* * *