In his role as Co-Executive Chairman and CEO, Joe Lacob is the managing member of the Golden State Warriors’ ownership group. Currently in his ninth year in the role, he serves on the NBA Board of Governors and is a member of the league’s Planning Committee and Labor Committee.
Under Lacob’s guidance, the Warriors joined the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers last season as the only franchises to win three NBA titles (2015, 2017, 2018) in a span of four seasons, becoming the first team to repeat as NBA champions since the Miami Heat in 2012 & 2013. In Lacob’s fifth season as owner in 2014-15, the Warriors ended a 40-year championship drought, beginning the most successful four-year run in NBA history (265-63 overall record) from 2014-15 through 2017-18, including four consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and the most wins in a single season in NBA history (73-9 record) during the 2015-16 campaign. The Warriors have made six-straight playoff appearances for the first time since the inception of the league (1946-47 through 1951-52). In fact, prior to the last six seasons, the club had only made the playoffs once in the previous 18 years.
The franchise’s success in recent years has also extended to the business side. In 2014 and again in 2016, the Warriors were named “Sports Team of the Year” by the Sports Business Journal, in recognition of the organization’s innovative and successful business practices. This marks the first time that any professional team has won this prestigious sports business award more than once. Additionally, under Lacob’s leadership, the Warriors were named the 2016 winner of the Entrepreneurial Company of the Year (ENCORE) Award by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in recognition of the organization’s entrepreneurial spirit in redefining sports management, pioneering the use of sports analytics in the NBA, and adopting new technologies that have transformed the fan experience. The Warriors are the first sports organization to win the ENCORE Award, which has been presented annually since 1982 to recognize best in class entrepreneurial companies from around the world and has included such recent winners as Google (2004), Apple (2005), and Amazon (2010).
In addition to the Warriors’ organization-wide honors, Lacob was named the 2016 recipient of the Sports Executive of the Year award by the Sports Business Journal. He was also named one of the Bay Area’s Most Admired CEO’s by the San Francisco Business Times in November of 2015.
Since making a then-record-setting $450-million bid to purchase his hometown NBA club — a longtime dream of the Atherton resident—and assuming control of the team on November 12, 2010, Lacob has been the driving force behind many of the creative changes that have transpired with the organization, including several major announcements, prominent personnel additions and an emphasis on transparency. Additionally, since its inception in 2012, the revamped Warriors Community Foundation has delivered over $10 million in economic impact to local school districts and non-profits serving at-risk and underserved students.
In October 2015, the Warriors completed the purchase of 12 acres of land in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood and, in January 2017, broke ground on Chase Center, the team’s privately-financed, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex set to open in fall of 2019. The dynamic 18,064-seat sports and entertainment arena will host Warriors basketball, concerts, cultural events, family shows, conventions and other activities, totaling nearly 200 events a year. Located in the heart of Mission Bay, the 11-acre district will feature two office buildings, 100,000 square feet of retail, 29 unique retail establishments, and over three acres of publicly accessible plazas and open space.
During his first full offseason as owner in the summer of 2011, Lacob recruited two of the most experienced, successful and respected individuals in NBA circles to join the organization, landing NBA Hall of Famer and basketball icon Jerry West as an executive board member, and hiring longtime league and team executive—and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee—Rick Welts as president and chief operating officer. Additionally, Lacob played a significant role in the hiring of successful sports agent Bob Myers, who is now the club’s president of basketball operations/general manager, and Head Coach Steve Kerr. Myers was named NBA Executive of the Year following the Warriors championship seasons of 2014-15 and 2016-17; Kerr was named NBA Coach of the Year following the 2015-16 season.
Lacob’s NBA and professional sports experience dates back over two decades, including a five-year tenure as minority owner of the Boston Celtics, where he served on the basketball committee. He earned his first NBA championship ring in 2008 with the storied franchise before selling his minority stake to purchase the Warriors.
Lacob began his career at Menlo Park, California, based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1987. Though still a strategic advisor to the firm, he has relinquished his managing partner role in order to pursue his lifelong goal of owning and operating an NBA team. In his role as a venture capitalist, he led investments in over 50 start-up companies across multiple fields in life sciences and medical technologies, the internet and energy.
Lacob earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the University of California-Irvine, a Master’s in Public Health (Epidemiology) from UCLA and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He credits his Master’s degree in Epidemiology (biostatistics) with providing him a background in statistics that helped drive his passion for sports. It also played a role in his decision to invest in Sportsline—one of the first sports internet sites—and one of Lacob’s earliest sports success stories. He was also a primary investor and pioneer of the American Basketball League, a professional women’s basketball league that eventually succumbed to the WNBA. Lacob continues as one of the original partners in the Pebble Beach Company, an effort formed to bring the historic Pebble Beach resort and golf course back to long-term American ownership. Additionally, Lacob has been involved with Stanford basketball for over 30 years and is a fixture in his courtside seats at Maples Pavilion. Lacob currently serves on the Board of Directors of one public company, Align Technology, as well as several other privately-held companies, including Neuropace and Athos, a wearable technology startup in athletic wear.
In recent years, Lacob has been involved in industry organizations including the American Heart Association and the AHA Roundtable. He has also been very active at Stanford University, serving on advisory boards at the medical center, business school and athletic department. Lacob’s philanthropic interests focus on education, both in the community and with universities. In 2014, he gifted $1 million to Washington University in St. Louis to establish a new Sports Management program at the Olin Business School. He has also provided scholarships to a number of high potential academic and athletic high school and college students in need.
An avid golfer, Joe has been a longtime participant in the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. He has played in a regular pick-up basketball game, and still does, at least twice weekly for over 30 years at Stanford. Most importantly for Warriors fans, Lacob has been a passionate fan of the Bay Area club that he now owns, supporting his local franchise as a loyal and dedicated Season Ticket Holder since 1998.