Jeff Jacobs | Partner
As one of three principals of Protea Water Development, Jeff Jacobs provides the leadership and direction for the overarching vision and design of the Seaport San Diego Project.
Jeff Jacobs is a proud San Diegan, having moved here with his family in 1966. He attended San Diego public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Jeff graduated in 1988 from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in international economics. He then began his professional life as Qualcomm’s 32nd employee. During Jeff’s tenure, Qualcomm rose from a small privately held company to one of the top 50 valued companies in the world and San Diego’s largest private employer. Over his 22-year career at Qualcomm, Jeff rose through the ranks to become Chief Marketing Officer and an Executive Officer of the company. In his role as Qualcomm’s CMO, Jeff was responsible for running an organization of nearly 2,000 employees, creating and managing Qualcomm’s $500 million venture fund, proliferating Qualcomm’s products and services, and growing Qualcomm’s presence worldwide.
After leaving Qualcomm, Jeff began focusing on higher visibility lifestyle investments. In 2010, Jeff and three partners acquired a struggling resort in San Diego, the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa. As an extremely hands-on owner, he orchestrated a more than $30 million renovation of the resort. When it reopened, Rancho Valencia became one of a handful of hotels worldwide to earn the prestigious Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond status. In 2015 Rancho Valencia was named the #1 hotel in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.
In 2013, Jeff was a member of the lead acquisition group of the NBA Sacramento Kings and is now a member of the organization’s executive committee. Jeff focused his efforts on the design and construction of a 750,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art arena and practice facility in downtown Sacramento that opened on-time and under budget in September 2016. Jeff is also involved in the creation and build-out of up to 1.5 million sq. ft. of retail, office, and hotel space in the vicinity of the new arena that has already begun to transform downtown Sacramento.
Jeff is also a limited partner in the MLB San Diego Padres, and he is an investor in more than 20 real estate investments, with the vast majority of them in San Diego.
Jeff is an active fundraiser and philanthropist, sitting on the boards of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Rady Children’s Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for UC Berkeley. He was named the 2015 Corporate Directors Forum Director of the Year for Philanthropy.
In his personal life, Jeff is an avid endurance athlete, completing the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championships four times and counting. He has two young sons and enjoys spending time with them on the same La Jolla beach where he grew up with his three brothers.