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Paul Deighton on Organizing the London 2012 Olympics

July 09, 2012
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Paul Deighton

At a Glance

Born in London

Year Born: 1956


B.A. in economics, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1978

Career Highlights

2006–present, chief executive officer of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

1983–2006, a range of positions at Goldman Sachs, including chief operating officer, Europe; head of European operations, technology and finance division; co-controller, New York; and positions in the investment banking division, London.

1980–1983, various positions in the corporate finance division, Security Pacific National Bank.

1978–1980, various positions at Bank of America, rising to lending officer.  


The London 2012 Olympics represents a monumental organizational challenge. By the time the games have begun on July 27, 2012, the event's organizer, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), will have amassed a workforce of around 200,000 full-time staff, volunteers, and contractors. A total of £2 billion will have been raised from sources that include sponsorships, broadcasting rights, and merchandise. The entire Olympic Park and other new infrastructure for the games will have been constructed. Diverse stakeholders will have been coordinated, including governments, sports associations, businesses, and other organizations. And by the time the games have concluded, on August 12, millions of fans will have watched tens of thousands of athletes compete in dozens of individual sports.

Making sure all these myriad strands come together is Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG. Before joining LOCOG in April 2006, Deighton was European chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs and a member of its European Management Committee. During his 22-year career with the firm, he held a number of client-facing and management roles.

Toby Owens, a partner and managing director in the London office of The Boston Consulting Group, recently spoke with Deighton about his experience leading the games. The following is an excerpt from their conversation.