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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024


Is Taco Bell CEO Mark King looking to return to the links?

The exec, who runs OC’s largest restaurant chain, is being touted as a potential replacement for Greg Norman as CEO of LIV Golf, the new golf league backed by Saudi Arabia.

King previously served as CEO of Taylor Made and is credited with turning that brand into a major force in the golf equipment world.

While the golf tour has denied that it’s looking to push out Norman from his current role, King “attended multiple LIV events this season and is believed to have met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund,” according to a report in USA Today.

As a high school student, Arthur Kuan was awarded second place in the 2008 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair—dubbed the world’s largest pre-college science fair, with over 1,500 participants—for his cellular and molecular biology project.

No word on what award the first-place recipient got, but the prize for second was out of this world: the naming rights to your own planet.

24347 Arthurkuan is a minor planet discovered in 2000 by MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Near-Earth Asteroid Research program.

Kuan could get a few more prizes if results continue to hold up for his current science project, at Irvine’s CG Oncology, where he serves as CEO. The immunotherapy company, whose drug aims to treat bladder cancer, just raised $120 million and has posted promising early-stage results.

See Peter J. Brennan’s front-page story for more on CG (not to be confused with GATC Health, profiled on this page). For more on the area’s GCs, see coverage of our Nov. 10 General Counsel Awards, throughout this edition.

Small-satellite maker Terran Orbital Corp. also has its eyes pointed to the stars—no surprise given the company’s ticker (NYSE: LLAP) is a play on the Star Trek phrase Long Live and Prosper.

The company, with a growing base of operations in Irvine, made headlines Nov. 13 when a Terran-developed spacecraft successfully arrived in orbit around the moon.

Info gleaned from the project will be used for future lunar missions, including a space station “that will orbit around the moon to provide astronauts with access to the lunar surface in support of NASA’s Artemis missions,” the company says.

Terran, whose products are expected to be increasingly used for military work following a recent investment from Lockheed Martin, now counts about 440 local workers, and could be one of the fastest-growing tech firms in OC next year.

“We’re expanding here, we have access to an incredible talent pool,” CEO Marc Bell told analysts this month.

“We are right near JPL and a lot of the other labs, and you have Caltech up the road. We have a great labor pool here out in Orange County.”

For more on the company’s local plans, see next week’s print edition.


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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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