In a shocking turn of events, the Anschutz Company took AEG — the conglormorate that owns the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Houston Dynamo, the Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, LA Live, and a whole bunch of other properties — off the market. Reclusive billionaire Philip Anschutz, who had planned to retire, will take a more active role in the company.
This is massive news for the sports world at large, but for our purposes here, it’s relevant because Tim Leiweke, the man who had perhaps the biggest role in bringing David Beckham to MLS, is out. Dan Beckerman will become president and chief executive officer of AEG.
From the release: “Tim Leiweke, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG since 1996, will be leaving the Company by mutual agreement. ‘We appreciate the role Tim has played in the development of AEG, and thank him for the many contributions he has made to the Company. We wish him well in his new endeavors’ said Mr. Anschutz.”
The juicy details will surely come out — it seems as though Leiweke lost a power struggle — but that’s not what’s important right now. What is important is that MLS lost a powerful executive and advocate who very much changed the face of the league. AEG will continue in the soccer business, but the influence of the outgoing executive will be missed.
Tim Leiweke’s MLS legacy is big. Landed Beckham & Keane for LA Galaxy, built LA into 9-figure franchise value, flagship of league.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 14, 2013
Tim Leiweke leaving AEG is huge news. Can’t imagine the modern, DP-era of #MLS coming about without his work to acquire David Beckham.
— Shawn Francis (@TheOffsideRules) March 14, 2013