Liz Gannes

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Gideon Yu Leaves Khosla Ventures to Sign On With 49ers

Venture capitalist Gideon Yu is leaving Khosla Ventures and plans to join the front office of the San Francisco 49ers as its chief strategy officer, according to multiple sources.

Khosla Ventures confirmed Yu’s departure and said, “we wish him all the best.”

Yu joined Khosla Ventures in August 2009 and led the firm’s investments in Square and Hunch. Sources said Yu is likely to remain on the board of mobile payments company Square, but that his involvement with other portfolio companies like Meebo and Hunch has not yet been determined.

Yu has played many roles in Silicon Valley, including CFO of Facebook (he left in 2009 after fighting with Mark Zuckerberg), VC at Sequoia Capital, CFO at YouTube when it was sold to Google, and treasurer at Yahoo.

He is also a huge sports fan. Fellow Niners fans can hope Yu’s expertise in strategy trickles down to the offense.

Update: The 49ers have issued a press release:

Former CFO of Facebook and YouTube Joins 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have named Gideon Yu Chief Strategy Officer. Yu will be responsible for maximizing the team’s strategic and business prospects, as well as developing new businesses and revenue streams. He will work closely on the Santa Clara stadium project with 49ers Chief Financial Officer Larry MacNeil and Executive Vice President, Stadium Project Patty Inglis, to make sure the organization is ready for construction in 2013. Yu will also play a key leadership role in identifying and integrating new technology into the new stadium, and will focus on delivering the team’s goal to make it an environmentally sustainable building.

“Gideon’s tremendous wealth of experience will help us accomplish our goal of financing the stadium for construction starting in January 2013,” said 49ers President & CEO Jed York. “He will focus on developing an environmentally sustainable building that is also a showcase of innovation.”

“I am extremely excited about this new challenge with the San Francisco 49ers,” said Yu. “Having been privileged enough to work with so many successful organizations throughout my career, I look forward to contributing that experience to the 49ers business and stadium operations. Our goal will be to establish the 49ers among the most technologically advanced sports franchises in the world.”

Yu has had an extensive and successful career in finance, strategy and operations. Most notably, he was the Chief Financial Officer of both Facebook and YouTube, as well as the Senior Vice President & Treasurer of Yahoo!. He was most recently a General Partner at Khosla Ventures, where he led their investment in Square and was its first outside board member. He also previously worked at both Disney and Hilton. Yu earned his BS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford and his MBA from Harvard.

Yu is active philanthropically, sitting on the boards of the UCSF Foundation, Tipping Point Community and BUILD.