LA 2024 names Gene Sykes chief executive to oversee bid for Olympics – Los Angeles Times
LA 2024 has named an executive from the financial world to oversee daily operations for its campaign to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Gene Sykes will take leave from Goldman Sachs to work as an unpaid chief executive for the bid committee.
“As a lifelong Angeleno, I’m honored to help bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to a city that loves them,” Sykes said in a statement. “I’m joining a very strong and experienced team.”
It makes sense that LA 2024 might turn to a financial executive if only because of concerns over the potential cost of hosting.
The bid committee has released a proposed budget that could exceed $6 billion. Officials have estimated that revenue and private-sector involvement would cover all costs, leaving a surplus.
But the Games have a long history of cost overruns.
Still, LA 2024 needed a chief executive to oversee the nuts and bolts of what figures to be a difficult, two-year bidding process.
“Gene has built a distinguished career advising the world’s greatest companies and nonprofit organizations and I’m confident he is the ideal executive to be trusted with the day-to-day responsibility of our city’s bid,” Garcetti said.
Sykes joined Goldman Sachs’ mergers and acquisitions department in 1984 and became a partner in 1992. An alumnus of Harvard and Stanford, the San Fernando Valley native is also a member of Stanford’s board of trustees.
“Gene is a very talented leader, with a proven ability to bring people together to achieve ambitious, complex goals,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger.
Wasserman will continue to act as the bid committee’s chairman. He and Garcetti are expected to remain closely involved with the campaign and represent the city at major sports events.
Next week, an L.A. contingent is scheduled to travel to Switzerland for a meeting with IOC officials.
All five candidates — including Paris; Rome; Hamburg, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary — will participate in individual workshops to help prepare their bids.
The IOC is scheduled to select a host in 2017.
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