Months after owner Paul Allen died, stability rules atop the Seahawks’ franchise.
The Seahawks, at the NFL combine, say their owner now is the Paul G. Allen Trust. That is in the wake of their late owner and Microsoft Corp. co-founder, the beloved man who kept the team from moving to Southern California in 1996 then kept the football people in charge of his football team, dying Oct. 15 at age 65 from complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Jody Allen, his sister and trustee of his trust, is now officially Seahawks chair.
Bert Kolde is the team’s vice chair.
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And, no, the team is not for sale.
General manager John Schneider confirmed Wednesday here at the combine in Indianapolis that his boss, the person at the head of the franchise, is Jody Allen.
“I used to report to Paul,” Schneider said. “And now I report to Jody.
“So it’s just...it’s been hard, but she has been amazing. She’s real responsive. She is into it. She’s aligned. She wants to win.
“It’s been great in that regard.’’
The NFL requires team owners have on file with the league a formal succession plan, but the NFL has declined to outline what that was for Allen and his Seahawks.
The team’s confirmation of the Paul G. Allen Trust as the owner and its trustee Jody Allen as the Seahawks’ chair is a reveal of the immediate succession plan.
The Seahawks were but a bit part of all Allen did and owned. Any future sale, should Jody Allen or the trustees decide that (and no indications of that currently exist) would not come until after lawyers review all aspects and holdings of Paul Allen’s estate. Given all his varied international, philanthropic interests and formal ventures, such a review of his entire estate could take years.
Jody Allen is the chair of Vulcan, Inc., and Kolde is Vulcan’s executive vice president of sports strategy and operations. Vulcan is the Seattle-based company Paul Allen founded to oversee his business activities and philanthropic efforts. After he pioneered personal computing with Bill Gates he eventually spent $2 billion of his massive wealth (estimated by Forbes to be $20 billion in 2017) on philanthropic causes.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle’s South Lake Union section of downtown he largely revitalized before Amazon got there will serve scientists, researchers and thus people in everyday life for generations. Allen spent $100 million to start his Institute for Brain Science in 2015. It’s an open-source center of research. Its shared information continually spawns ideas projects around the world that advance brain and cell science.
Allen also funded advancements in ocean health, in preserving wildlife and natural resources, for finding solutions to global warming, for new ways of air-launching satellites into space.
Oh, yeah, he also owned the Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association.
The Blazers have said their ownership situation remains status quo, as well, with Jody Allen as Vulcan’s and thus the NBA’s team’s chair.
Schneider says the Seahawks see that stability as a blessing.
“We lost Paul. We all miss Paul a ton,” Schneider said. “We’ve been working with Jody now, his sister, and she has been amazing.
“So we look at like we’re an elite place. We’re one of those team that wants to be a consistent championship-caliber team all the time. So if you want to win, we just think we’re an attractive place. (With) Coach (Pete) Carroll, if you want to be taught how to play, this is the place to be.”