Orange County Business Journal

OC Fair Chief Executive Set to Leave Post

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The head of the state-run organization in charge of the Orange County fairgrounds announced plans to retire.

OC Fair and Event Center Chief Executive Steven Beazley said Tuesday he will transition out of his position this year. A date for his departure has not been determined.

Beazley will assist the Board of Directors with creating a transition plan for his replacement.

The decision to step down stemmed from Beazley’s desire to “reinvent” himself with plans that include writing a book.

Beazley was named to his current post in 2008 after serving as chief operating officer and senior vice president of the fairgrounds, which operates as part of the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

Beazley has been with the OC Fair and Event Center for 37 years, overseeing the property during the state’s recent attempt to sell the fairgrounds.

In 2009, the OC Fair and Event Center along with other state-owned properties were placed on the sales block as part of the state’s effort to help reduce its budget deficit.

A $96 million bid from Costa Mesa-based Facilities Management West Inc. was accepted by the state and then thrown out after an appeals court ruled for the bidding process to be redone. The state called the sale off last year.