No Boston Olympics co-founder Chris Dempsey has left Bain & Company, a firm he worked for two years as Case Team Leader. While a conflict of interest appears as a possible reason for the move, with Bain supporting the bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston and No Boston Olympics believing that the Games would be financially onerous for the region, Dempsey assures that the reasons are otherwise.
It was recently announced that co-founder of non-profit No Boston Olympics Chris Dempsey will be leaving Bain & Company, stepping down from his position as Case Team Leader at the firm. Dempsey joined the firm in 2012 after completing his MBA from Harvard. As part of his career, Dempsey worked at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, where he was in a position that briefly overlapped that of Richard Davey, who is the CEO of the Boston 2024 Partnership – a partnership that headed a privately backed bid to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston.
The private bid for the US 2024 Summer Olympics nomination was successful, with the US Olympic Committee (USOC) finding in favour of Boston at the start of January 2015. The city has now definitely beat out its local competition, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC for the official US bid, with only international competitors such as Rome and Hamburg, standing in its way of hosting the world’s biggest sporting spectacle.
While the privately backed Boston 2024 Partnership has helped win the bid, and Bain & Company provided pro bono work for the Partnership, Dempsey has personally been staunchly opposed to the project. As co-founder of the No Boston Olympics group, he has campaigned to show that bringing the 2024 Games to Boston could be a financial disaster for the public coffers of the state and city and that taxpayer funds could be better spent on infrastructure or educational projects.
Dempsey’s leaving is not attributed by him to any internal or external pressure from Bain. “This is a natural development, and very typical of people who do a couple of years of consulting work after business school,” Dempsey explains. “I have nothing but good things to say about the people at Bain.”
Dempsey’s work at the No Boston Olympics appears to be relatively effective. Since January, public opinion around hosting the Olympics in Boston has plummeted, with Boston’s National Public Radio, Wbur, running a poll that showed that support backing the idea has dropped from 51% in January, to 44% February with the latest poll showing a mere 36% continue to support the idea.