In an immutable sign that the Olympics are coming back to the U.S., a new CEO is named to build the organization needed run the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
And for the first time in the annals of the Olympics, a woman will lead as chief executive officer of the organizing committee.
Effective today, Kathy Carter is the LA28 CEO. For the past three years she has been Chief Revenue Officer and CEO of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties LLC, the joint venture which is generating the financing needed for the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics.
Carter will report to LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman who has led the private, non profit organizing committee since the days of the bid five years ago.
Los Angeles was selected by the IOC as the host of the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics at the same time in 2017 when Paris was chosen for 2024. The IOC had never before awarded two editions of the Summer Games simultaneously.
Carter, 51, fills a position on the LA28 staff that’s been open for three years, once held by Gene Sykes, a Goldman Sachs executive.
Carter was one of the early hires of Wasserman following the awarding of the Games. A veteran sports marketer, Carter and her team based in New York have already signed sponsors for LA 2028. Delta Air Lines, Comcast and Salesforce have each signed deals running through 2028 said to be worth upwards of $400 million each. Sponsorships have also been struck with Deloitte, Nike and Ralph Lauren.
Prior to LA28, Carter spent 20 years at Major League Soccer including eight years as president.
Carter is the first woman to lead an Olympic organizing committee in the U.S. and the first female to hold the CEO title at any previous Olympics.
“Kathy is one of the most naturally gifted leaders in the game and has already made a tremendous impact successfully driving LA28′s commercial business,” said Wasserman in a statement.
“I’m honored and humbled and more energized than ever to co-create a Games that will unite us as a local and global community while celebrating the beauty of our differences,” said Carter in the LA 2028 announcement.
“The LA28 Games present an incomparable opportunity to showcase what’s good in the world and what’s great about the Los Angeles community. I’m inspired to be part of the tremendous progress the LA28 Games are sure to create.”
Carter will now lead LA28 as it ramps up all operations needed to host the Olympic Games. With a staff now numbering 95, Carter will oversee the expansion of personnel and volunteers that will likely reach into the tens of thousands by 2028. Sport, security, technology and media operations are among the major deliverables which will soon need executives and staff to move forward towards 2028.