The San Francisco 49ers returned to greatness on the field for their 2011 campaign, as they won the NFC West Division with a 13-3 record and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Now, the proud franchise has made thrives, once again, in their front office to become one the best organizations in the NFL as the club named Gideon Yu, former high-technology executive, the team’s new president and co-owner Friday. In addition, general manager Trent Baalke signed a three-year extension through 2016. Most specifically, with a quality product on the field, it’s time to invest into the team – a new stadium.
“Gideon brings us a truly unique set of experiences and talents, and he will be a guiding force in our drive to continue the winning tradition of this franchise,” said 49ers CEO Jed York, via team’s press release. “He’s both a visionary and the ‘go-to’ guy who can lead us through the enormous opportunities ahead such as, the stadium construction, expansion of our brand and its businesses, and positioning the franchise for the future. We have more to do now than ever before, and Gideon is the right person to get the job done.”
Prior to his career in professional sports management, Yu was successfully known as the Chief Financial Officer for both Facebook and YouTube. The Harvard and Stanford University graduate also worked at major companies such as Yahoo!, Disney and Hilton.
Yu, 40, is a multi-million dollar investor and advisor and all his trailblazing accomplishments led to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of owning a NFL franchise.
“My whole career has led to this point,” said Yu. “My job here is the perfect mix of my passions for football, entrepreneurship, business management and technology. Being at my favorite team in my favorite sport is a dream come true. We all look forward to winning with class both on and off the football field.”
Yu joined the 49ers in 2011. He will continue to be responsible for all business operations for organization, including the stadium project in Santa Clara. While Baalke will continue to lead all football operations, both Yu and Baalke will report to York.
“This is a wonderful day for Trent, his family and the 49ers organization,” said York. “Without question Trent has distinguished himself as the man to direct our football operations for years to come. Since taking over as General Manager last January, we have made great strides on the football field under Trent’s leadership. It gives me great pleasure to watch Trent and Jim work arm-in-arm with the common goal of leading the 49ers to championships.”
Named Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association in 2011, Baalke has managed, at some capacity, for NFL teams the past 15 seasons. Baalke has spent eight seasons with the 49ers.
Baalke’s ability to eye talent is a result his skills in scouting, beginning with the New York Jets from 1998 to 2000 and the Washington Redskins from 2001 to 2004.
Baalke is appreciative of this honor, and with a solid team in the front office, Baalke is looking to return championships to the Bay Area.
“I would like to thank Jed, and the York family, for this great opportunity and show of support,” said Baalke. “In addition, I would like to thank Coach Harbaugh, as well as our coaches, players, scouts, and entire football operations staff for their hard work and dedication this season.
“The success we experienced on the field was a direct result of their efforts,” he continued. “It is a privilege to work for the 49ers organization, alongside this group, as we continue our pursuit of championships.”