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Gideon Yu

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Gideon Yu is a high technology investor and advisor who is best known for co-owning the San Francisco 49ers football team. Yu formerly held a position as the President of the west coast NFL franchise, a title that made him the first President of color in the history of the NFL. Before Yu became involved in professional sports management, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of both Facebook and YouTube. He was the Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Yahoo where he oversaw more than 50 prominent acquisitions and investments. Additionally, Yu was previously a General Partner at Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on tech startup companies. During his time with Khosla, Yu led several high profile investments in such companies as Square.

As CFO of Facebook, Yu led a $375 million investment from Microsoft and Hong-Kong billionaire Li Ka Shang. During his stint with YouTube, Yu negotiated the $1.65 billion sale of the video-sharing website to Google. Yu’s largest accomplishment in his time with the 49ers is securing an $850 million stadium construction loan for a new stadium, which was the largest loan of its kind in professional sports.

Born in 1971, Yu graduated from the University School of Nashville in 1989, went on to major in industrial engineering and engineering management at Stanford, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. Yu is an active philanthropist and holds a position on the boards of the UCSF Medical Foundation, Tipping Point Community, and BUILD.

Companies and Investments

San Francisco 49ers (Co-Owner & Former President), Square (Investor & Board Member), Facebook (Former CFO), YouTube (Former CFO), Yahoo (Former Senior Vice President & Treasurer), Khosla Ventures (Partner), Cloudera (Angel Investor), Sequoia Capital (Partner), The Walt Disney Company (Team Member), Formation 8 (Senior Advisor)

Lessons Learned

The best way to find success and accomplish your goals in life is to roll up your sleeves and work at it.

Sports have always been a passion of Yu’s, which is why he decided to join the 49ers team.

To Yu, being viewed as a smart tech venture capitalist is only part of the picture. Overall, he has been more focused on financial partnerships.

Yu points to his technology background as the driving force behind his ability to close deals with tech-companies and build a high-tech stadium (for the 49ers).

Yu has responded to his “haters” by stating that he is not pretending to be a saint or loved by everyone and that he would rather focus on adding value wherever possible.

Known for being more fiscally conservative than many, Yu has been both praised and critiqued by his peers and former business partners for this.

Inspiring Quotes

Gideon Yu 's Quotes

Although the 49ers have a very big brand, a very big international reach, it’s a small company, taking on an incredibly big, generationally-changing project. In a lot of ways, going up against fairly big odds to make those things happen

Gideon Yu

I think there are great similarities between several of the guys I’ve worked for in the past. Leaders who have big visions, that aren’t afraid to hire great guys that are able to take care of those visions, and will push you hard

Gideon Yu

I’ve worked for a lot of guys in the past that have audacious big visions

Gideon Yu

The drama of being a venture capitalist isn’t really for me

Gideon Yu

Influential Books