Name: Kevin Sayar
Title: President and General Manager
Address: 318 Cambridge Ave, Palo Alto, CA
Born and Lived: Born in Upland, CA (November 20, 1967) Lived in Southern, CA until age 5 while my father completed his Masters at Cal Poly, Pomona. Moved to Tehran, Iran, in 1972 (Age 5). I am the oldest of three. I have a sister and a bother. As dual-national children my parents enrolled us in a private bi-lingual school where we learned to speak Farsi. We Lived in Tehran until 1979 (Age 12) and left country after the Iranian revolution. Moved back to California and have resided in the bay area since.
Early Life: I was really into sports as a kid. I played soccer until I discovered Water Polo and that is where I became friends with Christopher Warnock — on our high school Water Polo team. I started my first business venture right after high school. It was a furniture import business that I operated while attending Foothill Community College. The business was very profitable and I saved enough to cover my expenses for college. I transferred to University of California, Berkeley, where I earned a BA in English and a minor in Philosophy.
Professional Career and Activities: I Graduated in 1990 during a recession and tried a number of different Tech industry jobs. Pursuing an interest in law I started with a temp job at a major technology law firm. After several years of working on high profile litigation and corporate security transactions as a legal assistant I confirmed my interests. I obtained a JD from California Western School of Law in San Diego in 1996. I returned to Silicon Valley and went to work for the high tech law firm that I worked for prior to law school, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. I was able to gain experience in securities litigation, corporate securities and technology transactions. In 1999, I connected with Christopher Warnock and I was trying to help him for an entity to pursue a contract to digitize a special contract at Stanford University. After learning more about Christopher’s vision and a few beers we decided to co-found ebrary.
Family: 1999 was a big year. I met my wife Alison in law school and we have been married for 12 years. She started her own practice almost 10 years ago and practices Special needs law, primarily representing children with Autism. We are lucky to have two daughters, Emmatisse, 8 and Daniella, 6. They are both into soccer, swimming and spending as much time on any beach as possible.
In My Spare Time: I’m still pretty active outdoors. I’m always trying to find time to surf and snow board. Otherwise, I love traveling with Alison and the girls.
Favorite Books: As a kid I liked the Lord of the Rings, J.RR. Tolkein. In high school it was Catch 22, Joseph Heller. In college my favorite book was Henderson, The Rain King, Saul Bellows. More recently, I really liked Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell.
Philosophy: People who care make things happen.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: Closing the round of financing from the publishers, Random House, McGraw Hill and Pearson for ebrary – when ebooks were still untested in the market. That was by far the hardest achievement.
Goal I Hope to Achieve Five Years From Now: Fulfilling our vision of providing technology that is critical to global research.