On October 21, Sayar will succeed Olivia Humphrey, who is moving with her family back to her native Australia and staying on as Kanopy’s executive board chairman.
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Sayar joins Kanopy from ProQuest, a provider of content and software solutions that support research in the global academic market. Sayar put his stamp on several innovations that transformed how libraries and patrons discovered, acquired, accessed and used e-books, leading ProQuest Books to more than $200 million in revenue.
“I am honored to be named the second CEO in Kanopy’s history,” Sayar said. “Under Olivia’s leadership, Kanopy has grown from an ambitious dream into a critical digital media resource for library patrons worldwide. I look forward to working with the company’s talented team to further its impressive growth by delivering value that exceeds the expectations of our library customers, content partners and users.”
Before ProQuest, Sayar was president and co-founder of ebrary, one of the first electronic book internet companies. From its founding in 1999, ebrary grew into the leading e-book platform to libraries and researchers worldwide, boasting the largest scholarly catalog of e-books from academic, trade and professional publishers. The company was acquired by ProQuest in 2011.
Sayar’s appointment comes at a time of prodigious growth and expansion for Kanopy, which has added more than 200 new library partners in the last three months alone. Earlier this month, the company announced the appointments of Dave Barney as Chief Technology Officer and Chase Rigby as Chief Product Officer, as well as its new engineering hub in Orange County. In her new role, Humphrey will focus on Kanopy’s international expansion.
“It has been a great honor to serve as the CEO of Kanopy since founding the company 12 years ago and I am incredibly proud of everything our team has accomplished together, but this transition is about my family,” Humphrey said. “Kevin is the right leader to continue Kanopy’s rapid growth and he will be able to apply his significant experience working with libraries to deepen relationships with our partners.”