Los Angeles Business Journal Editor Scott Robson

Los Angeles Business Journal Editor Scott Robson

The Business Journal’s LA500 issue, highlighting the most influential leaders in one of the world’s most dynamic business markets, made its sixth annual appearance last week.

As we did last year, the Business Journal hosted a virtual event to celebrate publication of the latest list and to fete those who were selected for inclusion (by the way, here’s hoping we can all gather in person next year).

If you weren’t among the hundreds packed into Zoom rooms for the occasion, the affair featured panels filled with members from this year’s LA500 class, including EY Managing Partner Patrick Niemann; Thompson Coburn Managing Partner Jennifer Post; CTBC Bank Corp. Chief Executive Noor Menai; Society Real Estate & Development CEO Kofi Nartey and UCLA Health President Johnese Spisso.

The informative discussions covered a range of timely, relevant topics, among them a look at the state of business in Los Angeles as we begin to emerge from the events of the past year; a view of the financial outlook for the city in the months ahead; and a conversation about opportunities and challenges for local companies in the second half and beyond.

A full video recap is available at labusinessjournal.com and coverage starts on page 30.

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For anybody who got an early jump on the recent Memorial Day weekend and somehow missed the news, it’s worth pointing out that James Bond is now driving for Amazon.

In a deal that closed too late for the Business Journal’s print deadlines at the end of May — we’ll just assume you all read our May 26 digital version of the story — Amazon.com Inc. acquired legendary Hollywood studio MGM for $8.45 billion.

It’s the ultimate big-ticket purchase for a company with designs on expanding its L.A. footprint. And it gives the ecommerce giant a pipeline filled with more than 20 films in the Bond franchise, decades worth of other movies and scores of TV series to bolster its Amazon Prime streaming service.

The transaction comes as Jeff Bezos prepares for his July exit as chief executive of the company he founded. More questions than answers at this point about how things will play out — please tell us that we can soon snap up Q’s spy gadgets online — but the developments figure to be worth watching closely.
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Longtime friend of the Business Journal Michael Levine, a veteran publicist and noted raconteur whose clients have ranged from Charlton Heston to Barbra Streisand to David Bowie, is celebrating a pair of milestones.

His book, “Broken Windows, Broken Business,” was recently updated and rereleased 15 years after it was originally published. And last week marked the 38th anniversary of his marketing and branding agency. 

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