Oberndorf is the chairman of the UC San Francisco Foundation. He has served as the chairman of the board of Aggregates U.S.A. and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. He is a member of the investment committee of Hotel Equity Funds and is a director emeritus of Plum Creek Timber Co. He is a former board member of Taft Broadcasting Company, Voyager Learning Company and Wometco Cable Television Corporation. Oberndorf is a director of Calpine Corp., effective January 1, 2011.
Oberndorf graduated from Williams College in 1975 and received an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1978.
The "SPO" in "SPO Advisory Corp" stands for the initials of the last names of its three co-founders, all of whom graduated for the Standford Graduate School of Business: John Scully, Bill Patterson and Oberndorf.
Oberndorf is a trustee of the Thacher School in Ojai, California.
Oberndorf gave $1,000,000 to the Small Business Action Committee which, in turn, has contributed funds to oppose California Proposition 30, Sales and Income Tax Increase and support California Proposition 32, the "Paycheck Protection" Initiative.
Oberndorf gave $50,000 to the campaign to approve Proposition 14, the "Top Two" Primaries Act.
Oberndorf gave $50,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 93, an Amendment to California's Term Limits Law.
Oberndorf gave $75,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 82.
- Rainmakers, "William Oberndorf," accessed October 22, 2012
- Forbes, "William Oberndorf," accessed October 22, 2012
- Businessweek, "William Oberndorf"
- Tilson Funds, "A LEGACY: THE SONS OF STANFORD; THE MEN OF VALUE INVESTING"
- Excellence in Education, "William Oberndorf," accessed October 22, 2012 (dead link)
- Reuters, "William E. Oberndorf Joins Calpine`s Board of Directors," January 5, 2011