Last year, San Francisco 49ers owner and former Facebook CFO Gideon Yu and his wife Susie splashed out $9.5 million on a palatial mansion in L.A’s swanky Sherman Oaks neighborhood. Now, it looks like they’re whittling down their property portfolio as they prepare to offload their old home, a lavish 6 bedroom, 7.5 bathroom spread in the Silicon Valley enclave of Atherton. The price? A very healthy $27 million. If they manage to reach the asking price, they’ll be getting a robust return on the $21 million they paid for the property back in 2016. If you’ve ever wanted to see what kinds of places the rich and famous call home, stay tuned as we peep through the keyhole of Yu’s NorCal estate.
Before we get to the house, a quick word on the neighborhood. The property rests on just over an acre of prime Atherton real estate, a glamorous town in San Mateo County with a small population and some very big prices. Regularly ranked as one of the most expensive zip codes in the US, Atherton is (or at least has been) home to some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, including Ron Johnson, former senior executive at Apple; Farzad Nazem, former chief technology officer of Yahoo!; Vivek Ranadive, chairman, CEO and Founder of TIBCO Software; Meg Whitman, former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp; and Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Not that it’s all about the tech titans, though – Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Dancing with the Stars’ Cheryl Burke, and a good handful of sports stars are also known to have houses in the area. Basically, it’s super swanky, with more money per square inch than even the likes of Beverly Hills can claim.
According to Dirt, Yu’s sprawling estate is accessed via private gates that lead up a brick-lined driveway to a spacious motor court and a three-car garage. The house, which boasts over 12,000 square feet of living space spread over three levels, is contemporary but comfortable, with bleached oak floors, sculptural lighting fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling stonework. A huge gourmet kitchen featuring a butler’s pantry nestles alongside a cozy family room complete with retractable doors that spill directly onto the outdoor patio. Formal dining and living rooms offer excellent entertainment opportunities, while the “distance learning center” with four workstations is the perfect home office. The bedrooms are as impressive as the communal areas, with the master bedroom’s vaulted ceiling, cavernous fireplace, and marbled ensuite with soaking tub and dual vanities proving a particular highlight.
Yu’s house might scream refinement, but he hasn’t held back on the luxuries. Just as impressive as the understated, classic elegance of the decor is the enviable range of amenities. Prospective house hunters can expect everything from a 1000-bottle wine cellar with its own tasting room to a spa with sauna and steam rooms, a private movie theater, a gym, a recreation room with a walk-in bar, and, last but certainly not least, a golf simulator.
If you thought the inside of the house was spectacular enough, just wait till you see the backyard. Built around an exceptionally well-maintained lawn, the yard boasts a sports court, a putting green, a huge outdoor kitchen with its own built-in barbeque, a heated pavilion warmed by a giant fireplace, a conversation area, a pool and spa, a one-bedroom guesthouse, and even a bocce court.
The New Home
Yu’s decision to sell his long-time home in Atherton has no doubt been inspired by his and his wife’s recent move into LA’s Sherman Oaks neighborhood. Their new home is nothing if not impressive, boasting 6,700-square-foot of living space in the main house and another 2,400-square-foot in the attached guesthouse. It’s as glamorous as it is large, with a layout and style that’s purpose-built to impress. The front entrance opens onto a grand lobby with sky-high ceilings and a curved staircase that leads to second-floor balconies. Leading away from the lobby is a very modern kitchen with two dishwashers, Calacatta marble countertops, two SubZero fridges, and an adjacent pantry with wine and beverage refrigerators. A bedroom suite with its own private entrance and cozy living room competes for attention alongside the more formal living and dining rooms of the main level. Upstairs, the property boasts four ensuite bedrooms, including a master with its own balcony, giant fireplace, and very sumptuous bathroom. A separate wing boasts a large recreation room with all the games and mod-cons you’d expect. In addition to the usual living space, there’s a plush movie theater that offers a viewing window into the swimming pool’s sparkling depths, a temperature-controlled wine room, and a three-car attached garage. According to mercurynews.com, the estate was previously owned by longtime music manager and former Roc Nation president Phil McIntyre, who turned a huge profit on his initial investment of $6.8 million after he flipped the house to Yu in an off-market deal worth a reported $9.5 million.
Before he became known as the first person of color to serve as president of an NFL team, Yu was one of Silicon Valley’s most revered executives. As the CFO of Facebook, he led the company through several rounds of funding, helping to secure the highest valuation for an internet company at that point. Prior to joining Facebook, Yu served as the CFO of YouTube, where, among other things, he negotiated the $1.65 billion sale to Google. He’s also held numerous high-profile positions at Yahoo, Sequoia Capital, and Khosla Ventures. Since leaving Facebook, Yu has concentrated on developing Stampede Ventures, an independent production company co-founded by Yu in 2017. Despite stepping down as president of the San Francisco 49ers football team, he’s continued his association with the franchise via his status as co-owner. According to Wikipedia, Yu is almost as noted for his philanthropy as he is for his business activities these days. In addition to serving on the board of trustees of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the board of directors of Tipping Point Community, he’s known to have made several generous donations to his alma mater, Stanford University, as well as volunteering as a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Council and the School of Earth Sciences Task Force.