David Kaval

Lecturer in Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business


  • Stanford Graduate School of Business




Stanford Graduate School of Business


On Nov. 17, 2016, David Kaval was named the seventh president in the history of the Oakland Athletics.

In his short time with the A’s, Kaval has already implemented a number of initiatives to connect with fans and community stakeholders, including hosting weekly office hours, participating in town hall meetings, posting blog and Facebook Live updates and communicating via twitter at @DaveKaval. He also immediately began working on the fan experience at the Oakland Coliseum by making upgrades to club areas and a number of concessions, introducing new food options such as gourmet food trucks on the plaza and redesigning the kids’ area. Additionally, Kaval has been vocal about the team’s commitment to Oakland and is leading the efforts to open a new ballpark in Oakland and increase the organization’s community impact throughout the Bay Area.

Kaval also currently serves as the president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.  He oversees the business and soccer sides of the franchise and represents the club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors.

During his time with the Quakes, Kaval has led a transformation of the organization both on and off the pitch, elevating the stature and awareness of the club. It began with the Quakes winning the 2012 Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season record, and culminated in the opening of Avaya Stadium—the Quakes’ $100M privately financed soccer stadium—on March 22, 2015.

Since its opening, the 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium has received numerous awards, including the Silicon Valley Business Times Structure Award and the Product Innovation Award from the Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona. The Quakes have sold out every home MLS match since the stadium opened and boast a season ticket base of 13,000 fans, with an additional 4,000 on the wait list.

Kaval developed the innovative $20M naming rights partnership with Avaya, which helped create the world’s first cloud-enabled stadium and some of the fastest wifi speeds of any sports venue open today.

Prior to joining the Earthquakes, Kaval founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003. Memorable GBL alumni include Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Daniel Nava, Jose Lima, and Mark Prior. Kaval has also spent time in the Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the National Security budget as part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

He serves on a number of boards, including the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Bay Area Council, and Rocketship Education. Additionally, he serves on the National Governing Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and is a member of San Jose Rotary and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book entitled “The Summer that Saved Baseball,” which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the summer of 1998. He is also a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) where he teaches sports management.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kaval earned a B.A. with honors in International Relations and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He is a long-time resident of Menlo Park and lives there with his wife and two daughters.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, 2003
  • BA, International Relations, Stanford University, 1998

Professional Experience

  • President, Oakland A's, 2016 - present
  • President, San Jose Earthquakes, 2010 - Present
  • CEO and Founder, Golden Baseball League, 2003 - 2010

Awards and Honors

  • Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40
  • Silicon Valley Business Journal 40 under 40


Degree Courses


GSBGEN 360: Sports Business Management

This course will examine the diverse management challenges facing the sports industry. The course will cover issues at the league level, the team level, the athlete/agent level, and the college level. The diverse constituencies with interests in...


GSBGEN 360: Sports Business Management

This course will examine the diverse management challenges facing the sports industry. The course will cover issues at the league level, the team level, the athlete/agent level, and the college level. The diverse constituencies with interests in...

GSBGEN 562: Sports Marketing

This Sports Marketing course combines (a) a focus on key marketing themes (such as branding, customer attraction/retention, and celebrity power) and (b) an analysis of marketing in diverse areas of the sporting industry: the league level, the...

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April 10, 2015

Stanford GSB alumnus talks new trends in wearables and the big data revolution.


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