Talent agency CAA mulls Silicon Valley office

Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:46pm EDT
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By Peter Lauria

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Creative Artists Agency, the largest talent representation firm in Hollywood, is considering opening an office in Silicon Valley to expand ties with the technology community, according to two people familiar with the firm's plans.

CAA, whose client roster includes Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey and Peyton Manning, wants an "on the ground presence" in Palo Alto, these sources said. An outpost in Silicon Valley would help ease the travel load of CAA agents, some of whom already shuttle between Los Angeles and Palo Alto, California, three or four times a week.

Currently, the agency's business in Silicon Valley is divided into three: advising tech companies about Hollywood, partnering with venture capital firms to incubate start-ups and matching clients who have digital media ideas with companies that can help bring them to fruition.

Having regular contact with tech executives will also give CAA the opportunity to sign them up for representation on the speaking circuit and other endeavors outside of technology, both sources said.

The agency already represents Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, former Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg -- the sister of Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg -- and other tech executives through its CAA Speakers division.

The plans under consideration by CAA underscore the idea that software developers and computer engineers are the new creative community and tech executives -- not media moguls -- are the rock stars of the business world.

A representative for CAA declined comment. One of the sources said CAA is extremely methodical about its business plans and is likely to "proceed very slowly" with any proposal to set up its own shingle in Silicon Valley.

"They aren't going to put up a big building with signage on it and dispatch a dozen agents to the Valley," this source said. "It'll be much more of a subtle presence."   Continued...