David Bonderman
Source: Getty Images

Who Owns the Seattle Kraken? Details on the Wealthy Group of Owners


Jul. 21 2021, Published 10:07 a.m. ET

Curious about who owns the Seattle Kraken, the NHL's newest team? The Kraken ownership group, Seattle Hockey Partners is majority-owned by David Bonderman, the billionaire private equity businessman. Tod Leiweke, Andy Jassy, and Jerry Bruckheimer are the other owners of the team.

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Bonderman celebrated in April when the team paid off its $650 million expansion franchise fee. “For all of us, it is a prideful day to complete the multi-year process to become an official member of the NHL and the 32nd franchise,” he said in a statement, according to The Seattle Times. “It is the ultimate testament to our fans for their amazing support and belief and today their dream of Seattle and the NHL comes true.”

Bonderman has built a $4 billion net worth through TPG Capital.

David Bonderman
Source: Getty Images

Bonderman is the chairman and a founding partner of the investment company TPG Capital. According to Forbes—which currently pegs the net worth for “Bondo” at $4.1 billion—Bonderman founded TPG Capital with business partner Jim Coulter in 1992 after they both left the employment of billionaire Robert Bass. In an early win, Bonderman and Coulter landed a $640 million profit after investing $66 million in Continental Airlines, the magazine adds.

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According to his TPG bio, Bonderman sits on the boards for China International Capital Corporation, Cushman & Wakefield, Kite Pharma, Ryanair Holdings, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, the Grand Canyon Trust, and The Wilderness Society.

With that net worth, Bonderman has thrown some lavish parties. He celebrated his 60th birthday with a $7 million bash at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. He got The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, and Robin Williams to perform at the event, as Forbes reported in 2009. Bonderman marked his 70th birthday at Wynn Las Vegas with about 700 guests and performances by Williams, Paul McCartney, and John Fogerty, according to The New York Times.

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David Bonderman resigned from the Uber board in 2017 after making a sexist remark.

In June 2017, Bonderman resigned from the board of Uber after a staff meeting in which he made a sexist remark to fellow board member Arianna Huffington. He cited data that having one woman on a board often leads to another woman on that board.

“Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking,” Bonderman responded, according to The New York Times.

The billionaire stepped down from the Uber board that same day. He said in a statement that his comment “came across in a way that was the opposite of what [he] intended.”

“But I understand the destructive effect it had, and I take full responsibility for that,” he added. “I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud. I need to hold myself to the same standards that we’re asking Uber to adopt.”

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Bonderman’s political donations in 2020 favored Democrats.

According to data compiled by FiveThirtyEight, Bonderman donated $339,600 during the 2020 election year, and $303,300 of that money supported the Democratic party.

He leaned left with his biggest donations, giving $100,000 to the American Bridge 21st Century PAC, $50,000 to the United for Massachusetts PAC, $35,500 to the Biden Action Fund, and the same amount to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Bonderman’s Republican contributions in 2020 supported the Monday Meeting PAC, Moran for Kansas, George Holding for Congress, Georgians for Isakson, and the Kay Granger Campaign Fund.

His donations to Democratic causes make Bonderman a rarity among team owners. In 2020, more than 75 percent of donations from American professional sports owners went to the GOP, FiveThirtyEight notes.

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Tod Leiweke is Seattle Kraken's CEO

Leiweke has been Seattle Kraken's CEO since April 2018 and he's one of the team's owners. Prior to joining Seattle Kraken, Leiweke was the NFL's COO for a little under three years. Before that, he served as the CEO of Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment.

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Leiweke, aged 61, is married to Tara Leiweke and the couple owns the stake in Seattle Kraken. While some people thought the investment in the team was too high, Leiweke disagreed. He said, "When people think that there aren't many opportunities left, we found this great frontier called Seattle." Leiweke also sounded bullish on the team's future.

Andy Jassy is also part of the ownership group.

Jassy, who took over the baton as Amazon's CEO from Jeff Bezos earlier in 2021, is also part of the Seattle Kraken ownership group. Jassy was in charge of Amazon's cloud operations before he took over as the CEO.

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Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and was instrumental in setting up the cloud business in 2003. He became the CEO of the cloud business in 2016. While Amazon's North American e-commerce operations are the biggest revenue contributor, cloud operations are the most profitable.

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Jassy is a sports fan who reportedly has a sports bar inside his home. His net worth is believed to be around $500 million and most of it comes from the Amazon shares that he owns.

Amazon stock has sagged in 2021 amid concerns about slowing growth. At the same time, Tesla stock has recovered to near-record highs. As a result, Elon Musk has passed Bezos to become the world's richest person.

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Jerry Bruckheimer is also part of the Kraken ownership group

Bruckheimer is the fourth member of the Kraken ownership group. At 77 years old, Bruckheimer is a well-known name. He spent 50 years in Hollywood. He's also a sports fan and his net worth is estimated to be close to $1 billion. He's married to Linda Bruckheimer, who's his second wife.

Born in Detroit, Bruckheimer is the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany. He has been among the Republican party donors. With Bruckheimer's Hollywood background, he brings fanfare to the Seattle Kraken.


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