Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, is buying a major stake in the Wizards and the Capitals. According to the Washington Post, Jobs agreed to a deal for 20 percent of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns both franchises as well as Capital One Arena.
The deal now awaits approval from the NBA and NHL, which could come as soon as this week. While Ted Leonsis will remain CEO and the largest shareholder in Monumental, Powell Jobs reportedly wants to use her position to further her social and philanthropic goals. She is also the founder of Emerson Collective, which advocates for issues concerning education, immigration, social justice, and environmental conversation.
From the Washington Post:
“Laurene and Ted share the same commitment to a double bottom line, that the best companies are those that do good in their communities,“ according to one of the people familiar with the deal.
Once the deal gets approved, Powell Jobs will join a growing list of women with large stakes in NBA and NHL teams, including Jeanie Buss (Los Angeles Lakers), Ann Walton Kroenke (Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche), Gail Miller (Utah Jazz), Susan Samueli (Anaheim Ducks), and Marian Ilitch (Detroit Red Wings).
Powell Jobs made a bid for the Clippers when the NBA forced Donald Sterling to sell the franchise, but her group was outbid by Steve Ballmer, who adamantly believes the Clippers have become Los Angeles’ premiere franchise.
According to the Washington Post, her contract with Monumental could include a path to becoming the lead shareholder when Leonsis retires:
“Leonsis retains the largest share, is majority owner and remains chief executive,” said a person close to the deal. “Laurene was brought in for the growth and the future of the clubs. Ted will take Laurene’s counsel, and he will work to use the teams to benefit the city and the causes we all hold dear.”