Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 41
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Forty Under 40

Jed York’s first job with the San Francisco 49ers was sewing names on the backs of jerseys. And, no, he did not know how to sew before getting the assignment.

When he moved back from New York to receive indoctrination in the football family business in 2005, he spent time with each of the team’s units, no matter how far down the food chain. His father, John York, owns the club.

“Knowing the work dynamics in every different department is important to managing the overall operations,” said York, 30.

And he runs the whole operation today, most notably the nearly successful effort to build a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., which could open as soon as 2014. A groundbreaking is expected soon.

When York went to New York after college in 2003 to work for a hedge fund, Guggenheim Partners, the family plan was for him to stay until he was 30, then return to Northern California and eventually assume control of the team.

But when the 49ers switched head coaches in 2005, that schedule was accelerated. Asked how people respond to his youthfulness, York points out where he’s from, Northern California. Twenty-somethings becoming billionaires is not unheard of there, so his position isn’t that strange.

“There are no preconceived notions,” he said. And within the NFL, there is a tradition of grooming the next generation to take over early.

His professional career outside of football, though short, helped prepare him for the stadium effort. Guggenheim often traded in stadium debt, allowing him a chance to analyze the economics of venue development. That aided him in the decision to take on $850 million of debt responsibility for the facility.

Age: 30
Title: CEO
TEAM: San Francisco 49ers
Education: University of Notre Dame
Family: Wife, Danielle
Career: Began career as a financial analyst for Guggenheim Partners in New York; joined the 49ers in 2005; named team president in December 2008.
FIRST JOB: Guggenheim Partners
Last vacation: Honeymoon in July
what's on your ipod? Music my friends make fun of me for
Guilty pleasure: Anything from the ’80s
Best stress release: Meditation
Pet peeve: Poor public transportation and restaurants that close too early
Fantasy job: Think I'm already in it
Business advice: The only bad decision is indecision.