Management

Paul G. Allen
Chairman, Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc.

Growing up in the Northwest, Paul G. Allen’s passion for football was kindled attending University of Washington football games with his father. As years passed, he developed a fondness for the Seahawks, his hometown NFL team. When former ownership threatened in 1996 to move the Seahawks to Southern California, Allen acted on an opportunity to purchase the club and save pro football in Seattle. Along with the purchase came the vision of a new multi-functional stadium and exhibition hall. On June 30, 1997, the purchase was completed, keeping the Seahawks in the great Northwest.

Growing up in the Northwest, Paul G. Allen’s passion for football was kindled attending University of Washington football games with his father. As years passed, he developed a fondness for the Seahawks, his hometown NFL team. When former ownership threatened in 1996 to move the Seahawks to Southern California, Allen acted on an opportunity to purchase the club and save pro football in Seattle. Along with the purchase came the vision of a new multi-functional stadium and exhibition hall. On June 30, 1997, the purchase was completed, keeping the Seahawks in the great Northwest.

“From the beginning of this process, my goals have been to work with the community to create a lasting asset for our future, and to ensure the long-term success of the Seahawks,” said Allen when he purchased the franchise. “Moving forward, our goals are to build a playoff caliber team and to create a world-class facility for the state of Washington.”

Both goals have been realized. In 2002, the vision of Seahawks Stadium and Exhibition Center, renamed CenturyLink Field & CenturyLink Field Event Center in 2011, became reality. An open-air facility which many argue is the best venue in the National Football League, CenturyLink Field is home to over 300 events annually, including Major League Soccer, Supercross, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and trade shows.

“It exceeds the vision we had originally,” Allen said shortly after the stadium opened. “We had a goal to create a really intimate stadium with elegant architecture that would be great for the fans. I think we’ve ended up with a fantastic facility.”

Allen is one of the nation’s best-known and generous philanthropists. He co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1976 and continues to be an innovator in the world of business and technology. He is founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which oversees his philanthropy and business interests. He is also the owner of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.

Allen has been named one of the top philanthropists in America – with lifetime giving approaching $1.5 billion – and is committed to leaving a majority of his estate to support communities throughout the Northwest and internationally. Allen gives back to the community through The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which strengthens communities and supports vulnerable populations in the areas of arts and culture, human services, opportunities for youth, and scientific advancement. He also gives directly, including $26 million in 2010 to Washington State University’s School for Global Animal Health.

In 2003, he created the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease. The Seattle-based nonprofit pursues unprecedented large-scale research initiatives that result in knowledge, data and tools intended to fuel discovery throughout the broader scientific community. The Institute has generated groundbreaking online public resources that integrate extensive genomic and neuroanatomical data, including interactive atlases of the mouse and human brain. These resources have become staple research tools for scientists worldwide, helping to lead them to insights about neurological function and brain-related diseases and disorders. Given the Institute's achievements, in March 2012, Allen pledged $300 million to significantly expand its scientific programs. This funding brought his total commitment to date to $500 million and launched three new initiatives that will tackle some of the most fundamental and complex questions in brain science.

Inspired by growing up in the era of the Space Race, with its Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, Allen underscored his passion for rocketry by sponsoring the development of SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded spacecraft to successfully attain suborbital space. In 2011, Allen got back into the space business with the formation of Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing an innovative airborne launch system. It will utilize the largest aircraft ever manufactured and will provide orbital access to space with greater safety, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. He founded the EMP Museum, Seattle’s critically acclaimed interactive music, pop culture and  science fiction museum; the Flying Heritage Collection — a collection of rare World War II aircraft restored to flying condition; and Vulcan Productions, the independent film production company behind feature films like Hard Candy and Far From Heaven, and documentaries and PBS series, including This Emotional Life, Evolution, the Emmy Award-winning Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge; and the Peabody Award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, and The Blues, executive-produced by Martin Scorsese in conjunction with Allen and Jo Lynn Allen.