By Agence France-Presse
The NBA’s top official in China is stepping down after just under two years in the role, the NBA announced on Thursday.
NBA China chief executive Derek Chang is leaving to spend more time with his family. He was hired in June 2018.
“We are thankful for Derek’s many contributions leading our business and colleagues in China, including during a time of unprecedented challenges,” said Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer.
Chang’s tenure was marked by growth of the sport and the league’s brand in China, but also by strained relations between the league and the Beijing government.
Last fall, China responded angrily to a social media tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for his backing of anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
The league is reportedly searching for a replacement for Chang, who will officially leave his position on May 15.