San Francisco, CA -- October 16, 2019. Kanopy, the free-to-the-user video streaming platform for critically-acclaimed films and documentaries, today announced that veteran higher education executive Kevin Sayar has been named as the company's new CEO, effective October 21. Sayar succeeds Olivia Humphrey, who is relocating with her family back to her native Australia. Humphrey will remain as Kanopy's Executive Chairman of the Board.
Sayar has an extensive background as a leader and innovator in the higher education industry. He joins Kanopy from ProQuest, a provider of content and software solutions that supports critical research within the global academic market. During his tenure at ProQuest, Sayar served in multiple roles, including senior vice president and general manager of ProQuest Books, as well as SVP and GM of the software business unit, ProQuest Workflow Solutions.
Sayar spearheaded innovations that transformed how libraries and patrons discovered, acquired, accessed and used e-books. Under his leadership, ProQuest Books grew to over $200M in revenue and remains the market leader.
"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."
Prior to ProQuest, Sayar was the 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 catalogue 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."
Kanopy is a premium, free-to-the-user streaming platform offered through the generous support of universities and public libraries with a focus on thoughtful entertainment. Through partnerships with iconic film distributors and studios such as The Great Courses, Criterion Collection, A24, Paramount, PBS, and Kino Lorber, among others, Kanopy's critically-acclaimed catalog provides thousands of the world's award-winning documentaries and films, contemporary favorites, must-see classics, life-long learning courses, and kids programming to public library members, students and professors at participating institutions. Kanopy is available on all major streaming devices, including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and Roku. For more information, please visit www.kanopy.com.