Thomas was hired as GM of the San Francisco 49ers in 1977 by new owner Eddie DeBartolo at the recommendation of Al Davis and immediately fired head coach Monte Clark. The 49ers went 7-23 in Thomas' two seasons with the franchise, and his biggest trade, a number 1 draft pick for O.J. Simpson, was a colossal bust, as Simpson proved to be washed up. Thomas also fired two more head coaches, Ken Meyer and Pete McCulley, and Thomas' third hire, Fred O'Connor, was fired along with Thomas at the end of the 1978 season.
Donahue was the hand-picked successor to Bill Walsh as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers (2001–2005). During his first two years in San Francisco, Donahue served as Director of Player Personnel under Walsh. When Walsh retired in 2001, Donahue was elevated to the position of General Manager which he held for four seasons. His latter tenure is known for the team's precipitous collapse due to salary cap issues and sub-par drafts.
McCloughan oversaw five NFL drafts - the first three as vice president of player personnel, the past two as general manager with the final say. He was hired after Mike Nolan became head coach in 2005, with the 49ers then drafting quarterback Alex Smith at No. 1 overall. McCloughan's draft successes include Pro Bowlers Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis. He was dismissed in March 2010 due to personal issues.
[ Edited by Dr_Bill_Walsh on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM ]