Gene Sykes, formerly with Goldman Sachs, has been named Chief Executive Officers of LA 2024. As CEO, Sykes will work closely with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, and the United States Olympic Committee.
Sykes was Goldman Sachs’ Co-Chairman of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, Co-Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom group, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.
Sykes will remain employed by Goldman Sachs in only a limited capacity after stepping down from his leadership roles to focus on the bid. His position with LA 2024 is unpaid.
On Wednesday LA 2024 appointed NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson along with legendary labor leader Maria Elena Durazo as Vice Chairs of the bid. Earlier Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans was also appointed Vice Chair.
With athlete representation already firmly in place on the bid committee, Sykes will bring his much needed financial skills to the team to help manage a preliminary proposed budget of around USD $6 billion. Los Angeles officials claim that the Games in 2024 could generate a surplus – an idea that seems like an exaggeration following years when Games costs have spiraled out of control. Further, the intention is to fund the Games privately.
Mayor Garcetti said, “on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I’m delighted to welcome one of our city’s top business leaders, Gene Sykes, as Chief Executive Officer of our Olympic bid. 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, With Casey Wasserman and Gene Sykes at the helm, and our talented team around them, LA 2024 will represent the finest bid our city and our nation can offer the Olympic Movement”.
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said, “we’re fortunate to have Gene Sykes join our team and put his considerable management skills and financial expertise to work for us. Gene has a proven track record of making great companies and nonprofits even better, and I know we will enjoy working with him as we try to bring the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the United States”.
United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun added, we are thrilled that Gene Sykes has agreed to join America’s bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Los Angeles. As a highly regarded leader in LA’s business and philanthropic communities, he is uniquely positioned to ensure that we deliver a proposition that is compelling not only to the International Olympic Committee and the athletes of the world, but also to the great city of Los Angeles”.
Sykes said, “as a lifelong Angeleno, I’m honored to help bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to a city that loves them. I’m joining a very strong and experienced team, assembled and led by Mayor Garcetti and Casey Wasserman, and I look forward to working with them and engaging our city to help our bid succeed”.
Sykes said he is unconcerned that his work with the bid will be unpaid.
In statements Thursday Sykes won praise from captains of industry regarding his qualifications for the role.
“Gene is a strong leader and we’ve always valued his advice at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Gene is passionate about LA’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we are thrilled that he’s the one leading this effort.”
“Gene is a very talented leader, with a proven ability to bring people together to achieve ambitious, complex goals,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
Next week all the cities bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest, will visit IOC headquarters in Lausanne for individual workshops. The IOC will select the host city for the 2024 Summer Games in 2017.