36. Steve Koonin

495
Steve Koonin
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Business, Sports
Age 58
A former Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting exec—who recruited Conan O’Brien to TBS—Koonin became CEO and part owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena in 2014. Since then, the Atlanta native and one-time whiskey marketer has presided over the about-face of an also-ran team that just a year ago was mired in a racism scandal. Koonin brought “Swipe Right Night” to Philips, made inclusive overtures to fans, and ended up with a franchise-record 60 wins and the team’s longest playoff run in 45 years.

Flying high The club was sold for $730 million in April to an impressive ownership group including former NBA all-star Grant Hill and fellow Atlantan and Spanx founder Sara Blakely. Koonin is staying put.

Back to Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful

This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.

Advertisement