Mercury News interview with Gideon Yu just after he was made President. (February 2012)
Adam Rifkin stashed this in 49ers!
Great interview of Gideon Yu by Tim Kawakami.
Analysis by Kawakami:
Former Facebook and YouTube exec Gideon Yu, brought in with the subtle title of Chief Strategy Officer last April, was bumped up to team president.
That move clearly established Yu (for the business side) and Baalke (football side) as CEO/owner Jed York’s two top lieutenants, which is a big deal for organizational-chart purposes and for real purposes.
Yu has essentially been the 49ers’ Santa Clara stadium live-wire since his arrival and the practical reality is that he was promoted to president on the heels of the Santa Clara effort moving to near-reality. (Yu also has purchased a 1% share of the team.)
The 49ers nailed down the $850M financing deal in December, followed by the NFL’s $200M commitment in early-February, and there’s your stadium starting-gun.
Gideon Yu on Big Hairy Audacious Goals:
“I’ve worked for a lot of guys in the past that have audacious big visions,” Yu said. “Jed ranks up there with those guys that were set to change the world—going out to change the world.
“I think there are great similarities between several of the guys I’ve worked for in the past,” Yu said. “(Leaders that) 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 to make sure that no matter how audacious or crazy, other people—like you—might think those visions are…
“And that’s the same way Zuck was. Same way Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were when I worked for them at YouTube. Same with Jerry Yang (at Yahoo).
"I think Jed liked the fact that I came from organizations that didn’t care what the odds were, that kept their eyes on the goals ahead, made sure to come up with the right strategies, the right execution, the right tactics, to make those big goals happen.
The common ingredient is the big CEO, the big owner, the big founder, that lays down these big visions. And Jed is right up there with these guys.”
Great interview. Makes me THRILLED to be a 49ers fan!