LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Department of Building and Safety General Manager Robert “Bud” Ovrom as executive director of the Los Angeles Convention Center today.

If confirmed by the City Council, Ovrom would keep his current $230,536 a year salary. Ovrom would succeed Pouria Abbassi, who resigned last year left to lead Phoenix House, an organization that provides drug rehabilitation services.

“I am very excited to lead the effort in jump-starting the new vision for the convention center,” Ovrom said today.

City leaders are looking for a company to manage the Convention Center, with the aim of getting more use and revenue from it. One bidder for the contract was Anschutz Entertainment Group, which signed a deal with the city last year to build a football stadium if the city helps reconfigure the convention center.

Ovrom will oversee the management contract “while focusing on the modernization of the Convention Center and broader tourism policy,” according to Villaraigosa aide Vicki Curry.

Villaraigosa said he wants Ovrom to partner with the city’s Tourism and Convention Board “to drive critical infrastructure improvements” at the Convention Center to attract more business.

A replacement for Ovrom in the Building and Safety Department will be appointed soon, according to Curry.

Ovrom praised the plan supported by Villaraigosa and the City Council to make the Convention Center the “focal point” in “leveraging all city assets to promote tourism, sports and entertainment citywide.”

Ovrom was a deputy mayor for economic development during Villaraigosa’ first term administration, overseeing the convention center and tourism projects such as L.A. Live and the W Hollywood hotel.

Under Mayor James Hahn, Ovrom was CEO of the now-defunct Community Redevelopment Agency.

Before that, he was city manager for Burbank for 18 years and served shorter stints as the city manager of Downey and Monrovia.