The Los Angeles 2024 Candidature Committee has named financial executive Gene Sykes as its Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the management of the committee working to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the United States for the first time in 28 years. As CEO, Sykes will work closely with Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman and the United States Olympic Committee and supervise all aspects of LA 2024’s day-to-day operations and activities.
Prior to joining LA 2024, 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. He remains an employee of Goldman Sachs, but has stepped down from his leadership positions. While at LA 2024, he will not participate in Goldman Sachs’ day-to-day operations and will serve the firm in a limited capacity. His work with LA 2024 will be unpaid.
“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," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "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.”
“We’re fortunate to have Gene Sykes join our team and put his considerable management skills and financial expertise to work for us," said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman. "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.”
“We are thrilled that Gene Sykes has agreed to join America's bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Los Angeles," said United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun. “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.”
“Gene is a natural leader who can bring disparate groups together to tackle a difficult challenge," said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein. "We are very proud that he will be leading the charge to bring the Olympic Games back to Los Angeles.”
"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. He’s also a proud LA native. In the decades we’ve known each other, I’ve been impressed by his relentless focus on what really matters as well as his quiet strength and impeccable integrity. Gene wins by ensuring that everyone involved benefits from the outcome, and that’s certainly the right approach when it comes to bringing the Games to Los Angeles,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
Sykes, a lifelong Angeleno, joined Goldman Sachs’ Mergers & Acquisitions Department in New York in 1984 and moved back to Los Angeles in 1987. He became a Partner in 1992. Sykes is a trustee of the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. He received a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Sykes grew up in the San Fernando Valley.
Sykes joins LA 2024 on the heels of other high-profile additions to the Committee. On Wednesday, LA 2024 announced NBA icon and Olympic champion Earvin "Magic" Johnson and labor leader María Elena Durazo as Vice Chairs of LA 2024.