Austin Beutner, former L.A. deputy mayor and Wall Street investment banker, has been named the new publisher and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Times.
Beutner, 54, succeeds Eddy W. Hartenstein, who was the Times publisher for six years.
“I wanted to find someone who was clearly steeped and invested in the city, and who has the same belief that I do, which is that a democracy doesn’t work without a vibrant Fourth Estate,” Hartenstein told the Times.
The board of Tribune Publishing Co., the Times’ new corporate parent, approved Hartenstein’s recommendation last week.
After making a fortune from co-founding New York-based investment banking firm Evercore Partners, and breaking his neck while bicycling in the Santa Monica Mountains in 2007, Beutner dedicated his time to civic and philanthropic pursuits.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Beutner deputy mayor of economic development, or “jobs czar,” in 2010. While overseeing 13 city departments and the Port of Los Angeles, Beutner helped to streamline the business-permitting process and led the effort to pass a tax break to lure companies to Los Angeles.
Beutner, who has lived in Southern California since 2000, called the paper “the civic conscience,” and vowed to “ask the hard questions” while also exploring new revenue streams for a company dependent on print in a digital age.