Philip Anschutz has taken sports and entertainment powerhouse AEG off the market and announced a switch in leadership. CEO Tim Leiweke is exiting the company "by mutual agreement," and its new president is Dan Beckerman, who moves up from CFO and COO.
“From the very beginning of the sales process, we have made it clear to our employees and partners throughout the world that unless the right buyer came forward with a transaction on acceptable terms, we would not sell the company,” Anschutz said in a statement Thursday from his Denver headquarters.
AEG also announced several other personnel moves Wednesday. Ted Fikre becomes vice chairman and continues as chief legal and development officer, as well as assuming responsibility for AEG’s governmental and media relations. Jay Marciano, currently president and CEO of AEG Europe, is coming back from London to Los Angeles to assume the role of COO. Todd Goldstein, who has been with the company since 2001, recently was promoted to chief revenue officer and will continue in that role. Steven Cohen, executive vp of the Anschutz Co., will serve as AEG’s chief strategic officer while retaining his role at AEG’s parent company.
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Beckerman, Fikre, Marciano, Goldstein, Cohen and Anschutz will now constitute AEG’s Office of the Chairman.
AEG put itself up for sale in September, drawing numerous potential suitors. The company’s assets include more than three dozen arenas around the world — such as L.A.’s Staples Center, London’s O2 and Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena — L.A. Live, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival and ownership stakes in the L.A. Lakers, Galaxy and Kings.
“Phil’s active re-engagement in the operations of the company has brought a renewed spirit and passion to the management team’s focus on AEG’s next steps” Beckerman said in a statement. “The company has a number of interesting business opportunities, and the expertise of the management team and our 26,000 employees around the world will allow us to select those prospects that best enhance the company’s performance.
"Priority projects going forward," he added, "include the development of Farmers Field adjacent to our L.A. Live campus and the pursuit of our plan to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, our recently announced initiative to collaborate with MGM to build a new arena in Las Vegas, the acquisition of ownership stakes and the associated refurbishment of several major global arenas in Europe and our ongoing investment in AXS.com, our ticketing and e-commerce platform as we expand its capabilities for the benefit of our venues, partners, performers and consumer end-users.”