Austin Beutner has been announced as the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because it popped up next to Eli Broad’s in reports last summer about the billionaire investor’s interest in purchasing the paper from the Tribune Company. (The paper was recently spun off along with eight other daily papers into Tribune Publishing Co.) But when Gabriel Kahn profiled Beutner for Los Angeles back in May of 2011, the new newspaperman and self-described L.A. booster wore a different hat—he was Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s right hand man and a possible mayoral candidate (Beutner explored a run, then decided against campaigning for the city’s top elected job). Here are some insights about Beutner from that article:
He’s got finance chops.
At age 29, Beutner became a partner (the youngest ever!) at Blackstone, and later moved with his family to Los Angeles where he would run the West Coast office of Evercore Partners, an investment banking firm he helped found.
He’s got a lot of zeros in his bank account.
When Evercore went public in 2006, the IPO made Beutner more than $100 million.
But he’s also worked for as little as $1.
Beutner was L.A.’s first deputy mayor and oversaw Economic and Business Policy under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He was granted oversight of a dozen agencies (including the Port of Los Angeles) and 17,000 employees for a salary of $1 per year.
He’s not above holding up a “HELP WANTED” sign.
When tasked with helping to manage a program designed to make L.A.’s permitting process more efficient, Beutner hired a consultant to look at what the city was doing wrong.
He’s a soft-spoken leader.
According to Kahn, Beutner was as likely “to nod his head and listen” in meetings as he was to give orders. “But people who have worked with him have been struck by what a quick study he is and by his confidence in his own judgment.”