Anita DeFrantz is to be replaced by a former executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Times as head of the LA84 Foundation, the non-profit organisation created to manage the profits created by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, it has been announced. 

Renata Simril will take over from DeFrantz, who had announced in June she was stepping down after 28 years as President. 

The Foundation's original $93 million (£61 million/€87 million) endowment has grown to $160 million (£105 million/€149 million), and has funded more than $225 million (£147 million/€210 million) in grants to support some 2,100 youth sports organisations in Southern California. 

Its success is seen as potentially a key factor in Los Angeles' bid to bring the Olympics back to the American city in 2024. 

DeFrantz, a former rower was winner of an Olympic bronze medal at Montreal 1976, is the United States' highest-ranking international administrator and is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board. 

The 63-year-old DeFrantz was one of the original members of staff at the LA84 Foundation when it was set up in 1985.

Under her leadership, LA84 has so far served more than three million children annually in Southern California through grant-making, research and coaching education programmes, it is claimed.

“We are grateful for Anita’s unparalleled leadership of the LA84 Foundation,” said Frank Sanchez, the chairman of LA84 Foundation Board.

“She has led the organisation over these many years with integrity and grace, molding an institution that has worldwide recognition.

"The Board is confident that the Foundation will continue to grow and impact youth in sports across the region under Renata’s leadership.”

Anita DeFrantz is stepping down as head of the LA84 Foundation after 28 years in charge
Anita DeFrantz is stepping down as head of the LA84 Foundation after 28 years in charge ©LA84 Foundation

Simril, who began her career as a military police officer in the United States Army, worked to help rebuild South Los Angeles after the 1992 riots and served as Deputy Mayor of Economic Development under former Mayor James Hahn.

She joined the Los Angeles Times in October 2014 but left in September after the newspaper's publisher Austin Beutner was fired. 

Simril had previously been senior vice-president at Major League Baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers. 

“I am truly humbled to be selected by the LA84 Foundation’s Board of Directors to serve as its new President and CEO, and to follow Anita DeFrantz, who is one of the most influential women in sports globally,” she said.

“The 1984 Games brought this city together, and the LA84 Foundation continues to play an important role for kids in diverse communities throughout the region.

"I am inspired by the tremendous potential this organisation has to advance all of the values that make the Olympic Movement so magical, including the ability to reach so many young people and develop their interest in and love of sport.”

Simril is due to officially begin her new role as President and chief executive on January 4. 

Related stories
June 2015:
 IOC Executive Board member DeFrantz announces resignation as President of LA84 Foundation
November 2014: Latest LA84 Foundation grants takes donations to community youth sport programmes to $220 million