Personally, Leiweke likes to keep a low profile. Professionally, he’s all about the big splash. Chances are if you’ve gone downtown over the past decade to attend a sporting event or a show, you’ve already been part of his master plan.

Leiweke has spent the last 15 years as president and CEO of AEG. During that time he has overseen the creation of the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live and the Home Depot Center. He’s also in charge of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings (his priority “above anything and everything” is to win a Stanley Cup), oversees soccer’s L.A. Galaxy and serves on the board of directors for the world-champ Lakers. And he’s not done.

In early 2010, he’ll open a dual hotel complex—part Ritz-Carlton, part Marriott—which he believes will alter the downtown area in a major way. “Those hotels will change the economics and the dynamics of downtown permanently,” Leiweke says. “Once they are built, the con­vention center finally becomes what it should be. Who wouldn’t want to be in L.A. with everything our city has to offer? But we still rank behind Omaha in conventions. All of that is about to change.”

« July issue Tastemakers: Jason Nadler »