Peter Magowan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Peter Magowan
Peter Magowan 2010.jpg
Magowan at the 2010 Giants World Series parade.
Born 1942
Education Stanford University
Occupation President, Managing General Partner
Employer San Francisco Giants
Term 1993 — 2008(?)[1] present
Relatives Charles E. Merrill (grandfather), James Merrill (uncle)
Website Giants Bio

Peter A. Magowan (born 1942[2]) is the former managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball franchise.

Early life and career[edit]

Magowan's maternal grandfather was Charles Merrill (1885–1956), co-founder of Merrill Lynch and instrumental in the formation of Safeway. Magowan's father, Robert Anderson Magowan, was chairman and CEO of Safeway; Magowan's mother, Doris Merrill Magowan (1914–2001), was a prominent San Francisco philanthropist. Magowan is the nephew of poet James Merrill (1926–1995). He graduated high school from Groton School, has a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a master's degree from Oxford University. He also did post-graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University.

Following graduation from Stanford, Magowan joined Safeway as a real estate negotiator in Washington D.C. He also worked as a District Manager in Houston, a Retail Operations Manager in Phoenix and a Division Manager in Tulsa. From 1976 to 1978 he was in charge of the Company's international operations. He was elected a Director of Safeway in 1978 following the death of his father.[3]

In 1979 Magowan was elected as chairman and CEO of Safeway. He would run Safeway until its poor performance led to it being the target of corporate raiders, resulting in acquisition by KKR acting as a white knight.

Magowan is also a director of Caterpillar, Inc., DaimlerChrysler, W5 Networks, Inc., and Spring Group, PLC. He is a native of New York City and was a Giants fan prior to moving to San Francisco; the team itself soon followed.

Managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants[edit]

Magowan, along with a group of investors (including Charles B. Johnson, Scott Seligman, Philip Halperin, Allan Byer, and David S. Wolff) purchased the franchise on January 12, 1993, from the previous owner, Bob Lurie. Before Magowan's consortium stepped in with its offer to buy the team, Lurie had planned to sell the team to a group from St. Petersburg, now home to the Tampa Bay Rays.[4] Magowan made his mark on the team immediately, signing free agent superstar Barry Bonds, a San Francisco Bay Area-native whose father began his career as a Giant.

Magowan is also noted for spearheading the construction of the Giants' current home, AT&T Park (previously SBC Park and Pacific Bell Park). Previously, several initiatives to build tax-supported stadiums had been rejected by San Francisco voters. In December 1995, Magowan unveiled his plan for a 42,000 seat ballpark in China Basin, which would be privately funded - the first ballpark built without public funds in over 30 years. The plan was passed easily by San Francisco voters, by a 2 to 1 margin.[5] Pacific Bell Park opened in 2000, replacing the oft-criticized Candlestick Park. Since AT&T Park opened, the Giants have become the third most-valuable team in baseball.


In late 2007 and early 2008, Peter Magowan and Giants general manager Brian Sabean drew some criticism in the Mitchell Report when it was revealed Giants athletic trainer Stan Conte came to Sabean and told him he suspected Bonds trainer Greg Anderson was distributing steroids and Giants management didn't investigate or tell Major League Baseball.[6] Conte had been approached by a player.[6] In the January 2007 Congressional hearings on performance-enhancing drugs, Congressman Henry Waxman asked Commissioner Bud Selig to discipline Sabean and Magowan for their culpability.[7] Some sports insiders argued that Magowan's and Sabean's actions on steroids was not any different from other clubs at the time.[6] When Magowan was interviewed for the Mitchell Report, Magowan told Senator George Mitchell that Barry Bonds told him he had used steroids; he withdrew that assertion a few days later.[8]

Stepping down as managing partner[edit]

On May 16, 2008, Magowan announced he would be stepping down as managing partner of the Giants effective October 1, 2008.[9]

Bill Neukom succeeded Magowan as the principal shareholder and lead representative of the investors in the San Francisco Giants.

On November 3, 2010, Magowan participated in the Giants victory parade as the team celebrated its first World Series title since moving to San Francisco in 1958. The team had previously won in 1954 when they were in New York.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bob Lurie
San Francisco Giants President
Succeeded by
Larry Baer