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Friday, Jun 14, 2024

Allen to retire from L.A. Economic Development Corp.

Bill Allen, who for 17 years has been the visible and articulate chief of L.A.’s primary economic development organization and who worked comfortably in the city’s business, government, nonprofit and academic circles, will retire at the end of the year.


During his tenure at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit’s business assistance team said it attracted or retained more than 250,000 jobs, and the organization held annual rankings of local cities by their business-friendliness. Allen emphasized the economic research component of the organization, he led trade missions throughout Europe and Asia and he redirected the mission of World Trade Center Los Angeles, an LAEDC affiliate, from its primary focus on trade facilitation to one of attracting foreign direct investment.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with the talented staff and board of the LAEDC who inspire me every day by their dedication to building a stronger and more equitable economy that can benefit all our region’s residents,” Allen in his retirement announcement, expected to be made officially on Aug. 8.

“Los Angeles deserves leaders who uphold the highest standards of service, and one of those public servants has been Bill Allen,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, adding that Allen is “one of the greatest champions for our regional economy.”
The new chief executive will be Stephen Cheung, who has been with the organization seven years and is the chief operating officer.

“Bill has been a passionate advocate for all of our county residents, communities and employers,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell.


Allen, 65, the son of entertainer Steve Allen and actress Jayne Meadows, began his career in the entertainment industry with the CBS Television Network, later joining MTM Enterprises, where he rose to be president of MTM Television.

After the Northridge earthquake of 1994, Allen, a lifelong Encino resident, was among the founders of the Valley Economic Alliance in the San Fernando Valley and was that organization’s first chief executive. He has been a vice chair of the board ever since.

After becoming chief of the Los Angeles economic development organization, he set about making it more active and involved. The retirement announcement said he personally led more than 1,000 stakeholders from business, labor, government, and the community through 26 public meetings to create Los Angeles County’s first community-built strategic plan for economic development.

After his retirement, Allen is to become chair of FilmLA, returning to his roots in the entertainment industry.

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