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Published March 23, 2009
Dan Beckerman’s ascent during his 12 years working at AEG has been nothing short of remarkable, according to his boss, Tim Leiweke.
Beckerman, a newly minted Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame member after making the cut a third time, was promoted as AEG’s chief operating officer in May 2008. With that, he oversees day-to-day business for one of the largest corporations in sports and its 50 subsidiaries.
Beckerman, who also retains his title as AEG’s chief financial officer, is now one notch below president and CEO Leiweke on the company’s organizational chart. Leiweke jokes that he is running out of plaudits for his right-hand man.
“I’m glad he’s turning 40 because I’m tired of going to these dinners and honoring him every year,” said Leiweke, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “This is getting expensive. Ironically, for a guy that was our CFO, he’s costing us an enormous amount of money.”
Seriously, Beckerman has been Leiweke’s point man for AEG’s rapidly expanding global empire during the past decade, during which he has worked with financial institutions and partners to raise $5 billion, including $2 billion in 2008.
In a brutal domestic economy, Beckerman, among his many duties, has been principally involved in putting the finishing touches on L.A. Live, AEG’s $400 million mixed-use development across the street from Staples Center, the firm’s flagship arena.
At a time when many retail and entertainment projects next to sports facilities have stalled, Beckerman has secured financing for the complex’s venues and its hotel/condominium project, encompassing more than two dozen leases and contracts.
As of late February, AEG’s new global partnerships division under Beckerman’s watch was about to close a deal with an integrated media company to become the last of eight founding partners for L.A. Live, another indication that Beckerman can get things done during the recession.
As AEG wraps things up in its own backyard, Beckerman’s attention turns to ongoing facility projects in Houston, where the firm is investing in an MLS stadium for the Dynamo, and its joint venture with the NBA to build three arenas in China.
In addition, AEG is competing to develop a new arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, and through AEG Live, its event production division, there are plans to create new live shows adjacent to the O2 arena in London, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, Beckerman said.
“That whole district has been very successful and we see a lot of different uses for that project,” he said.
Keeping in mind the global downturn, AEG has tapped the brake pedal ever so lightly as the company seeks future opportunities in sports and entertainment, Beckerman said.
“Throughout AEG’s life span, it’s been all about development and growth, but as we look forward, we are taking a more measured approach to new capital projects,” he said.
It’s a skill Beckerman displays as well as anyone as he peers into his crystal ball, Leiweke said.
“He is my long-range thinker, and for a guy as young as he is, it’s amazing that he sees the world 20 years out and not two years out,” Leiweke said. “That shows an amazing amount of patience and maturity for him as a business leader.”