"Some of his main tasks will include garnering much-needed financial support in an unstable economy and helping secure Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games," reports the New York Times.
"He brings to us a number of skills," said former committee head Peter Ueberroth. "We need to shore up and expand our partnerships with major companies in the United States, and Larry walks those halls well, or better than I do."
Probst got the call from Ueberroth, a former Major League Baseball commissioner, because of his ties to the publisher's lucrative EA Sports label and its connection to American sports. "The EA Sports brand is one of the most recognized brands in the video games industry," Probst commented. "I've been doing that for 15-plus years. As a consequence of that, I have had a lot of exposure to commissioners, leaders in sports."
Probst had risen through the ranks at EA, spending 23 years there before stepping down in April 2007. His business acumen and connections in the sports world are expected to come in handy at the cash-strapped Olympic Committee, which receives no direct government money.