David O. Sacks

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David O. Sacks
David O. Sacks.jpg
Sacks in February 2011
Born David Oliver Sacks
(1972-05-25) May 25, 1972 (age 43)
Cape Town, South Africa
Education Stanford University and University of Chicago Law School
Occupation COO of Zenefits
Known for Former COO of PayPal
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Tortorice (m. 2007; 2 children)[1]

David Oliver Sacks[1] (May 25, 1972)[2] is co-founder and chief executive officer of Yammer. He has been an entrepreneur, executive and investor in internet technology firms since the late 1990s.[3] As a result of Yammer’s acquisition by Microsoft in July 2012, he served as corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Office Division.[4] On 10 December 2014 he joined Zenefits, a San Francisco based startup company as COO.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Sacks immigrated with his family to the United States when he was 5 years old.[6]

On 7 July 2007, Sacks married Jacqueline Tortorice.[7] The couple have two daughters.


Sacks attended the Memphis University School in Memphis, Tennessee. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 1994 and received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1998.[8][9][10]

While at Stanford, Sacks co-wrote with classmate Peter Thiel the book, The Diversity Myth: 'Multiculturalism' and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford, published by The Independent Institute .[11] He also served as editor of the Stanford Review, the conservative libertarian newspaper founded by Thiel. In 2014, Sacks stated that he was "embarrassed by some of the things [he] wrote in college over 20 years ago" and that the views expressed in those publications were not representative of his current beliefs.[12]



In 1999, Sacks left his job as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company to join e-commerce service PayPal as its chief operating officer.[13]

In February 2002, PayPal went public, it was one of the first IPO after the September 11, 2001 attacks (ABCO went Public in November 2001). The stock rose more than 54% that first day and closed at $20.09.[14] In October 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion.[15]

Sacks is a member of the "PayPal Mafia"—a group of founders and early employees of PayPal who went on to found a series of other successful technology companies. They are often credited with inspiring Web 2.0 and for the re-emergence of consumer-focused Internet companies after the dot com bust of 2001.[16]

Thank You for Smoking[edit]

Following PayPal’s acquisition, Sacks moved to Hollywood where he produced and financed the hit movie Thank You For Smoking through his independent production company, Room 9 Entertainment.[17] The 2006 film won praise from film critics and was nominated for two Golden Globes.[18]


In 2006, Sacks founded Geni.com, a genealogy website that enables family members to collaboratively build an online family tree. At Geni, he wanted more visibility into what was going on across the organization, so the team created a productivity tool to help employees share information. In 2008, Sacks and co-founder Adam Pisoni spun this internal communications tool into a standalone company called Yammer.[19] Geni was acquired by MyHeritage in 2012,[20] and Sacks continues to serve on its board.[13]


Yammer launched at TechCrunch50 in September 2008, winning the grand prize.[21] It is among the fastest growing enterprise software companies in history, exceeding over five million users in just four years. The company raised $142 million in venture funding from top tier firms and is used by more than 300,000 companies worldwide.[22]

In July 2012, Microsoft acquired the enterprise social network for $1.2 billion.[23]

Angel Investor[edit]

Sacks has made early-stage investments in numerous startups including Cherry, Circle Inc, Secret, Eventbrite, Mixpanel, OneLogin, Pocket Change, ResearchGate, Sofa Labs, Scribd, and Uber.[24]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40, David Sacks (2012)[25]
  • Workforce Management Game Changers Award, David Sacks (2011)[26]
  • San Francisco Business Times Bay Area’s Most Admired CEOs (2011)[27]


  1. ^ a b "David Oliver Sacks". Geni.com. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Yammer's CEO Is About To Sell For $1 Billion To Microsoft, And Then Throw Himself An Over-The-Top Ridiculous Party". businessinsider.com. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Management - About Us". Yammer. Retrieved 2012-10-10. [dead link]
  4. ^ Mullins, Robert. eWeek (2012-10-30) YamJam 2012 Is Yammer's Coming-Out Party as a Microsoft Unit
  5. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/zenefits-is-suddenly-a-hot-employer-2014-12?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  6. ^ Herel, Suzanne (2012-02-22). Meet the Boss, David Sacks CEO of Yammer
  7. ^ "Jacqueline M. Sacks (Tortorice)". Geni.com. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  8. ^ "PayPal: executive officers and directors". EDGAR. March 1, 2002. 
  9. ^ "Management bios". Yammer. Retrieved February 17, 2011. [dead link]
  10. ^ Davis, Joshua. University of Chicago Magazine ( Sept./Oct. 2007, Volume 100, Issue 1). Take 2.0
  11. ^ Huwa, Kyle (2012-11-7) The Intellectual Force behind Web 2.0
  12. ^ Kantor, Jodi (December 23, 2014). "A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Thomas, Owen. Business Insider (2012-06-25). Meet The Yammer CEO Who Just Made Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Selling To Microsoft
  14. ^ Kane, Margaret. CNET (2002-02-15). PayPal shares make strong debut
  15. ^ CNN Money (2002-07-080. eBay buys PayPal for $1.5B
  16. ^ Banks, Marcus. San Francisco Chronicle. (2008-05-16). Nonfiction review: 'Once You're Lucky'
  17. ^ Thomas, Owen. Business Insider (2012-06-25)/ Meet The Yammer CEO Who Just Made Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Selling To Microsoft
  18. ^ Los Angeles Time The Envelope (2007). Globes scorecard[dead link]
  19. ^ Taylor, Colleen. TechCrunch. (2012-06-25). Memory Lane: Watch The Moment In 2008 When Yammer Launched As A Standalone Business
  20. ^ Lynley, Matthew. Wall Street Journal (2012-11-28). MyHeritage Raises $25 Million, Aquires {sic} Geni
  21. ^ Schonfeld, Erick. TechCrunch (2012-09-10). Yammer Takes Top Prize At TechCrunch50
  22. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik. AllThingsD (2012-02-29). Yammer Lands $85 Million Funding Round From Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  23. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. TechCrunch (2012-07-19). Microsoft Completes Its $1.2B Yammer Acquisition
  24. ^ Rao, Leena. TechCrunch (2011-11-08). Max Levchin, Keith Rabois And David Sacks Back The Uber For Carwashes, Cherry
  25. ^ San Francisco Business Times (2012-02-24). 40 Under 40
  26. ^ Workforce Management (2011). Game Changers Award
  27. ^ San Francisco Business Times (2011). Bay Area’s Most Admired CEOs

External links[edit]