David A. Kaval
Lecturer in Management
On Nov. 17, 2016, David Kaval was named the seventh president in the history of the Oakland Athletics.
As one of the most dynamic leaders currently in sports, Kaval has led a complete transformation of the organization. He has repositioned the internal and external perception of the Club and has driven a number of innovative initiates to propel the business forward.
In his five seasons as president, Kaval has enhanced the fan experience by making upgrades to the Oakland Coliseum, introduced a forward-thinking season ticket program, hosted MLB’s first completely free game, and welcomed the largest crowd in Oakland Coliseum history when 56,310 fans attended the game versus the San Francisco Giants on July 21, 2018. He has implemented a number of initiatives to connect with fans and community stakeholders, including hosting weekly office hours, participating in town hall meetings, and communicating via Twitter and Instagram at @DaveKaval.
In addition to delivering the best baseball experience for the Club’s fans, Kaval is committed to increasing the organization’s community impact. During the 2020 season, the Club focused on five main community initiatives: COVID-19 relief, social justice, building community, education, and youth baseball and softball. The team donated more than $2.6 million back to the community, including $1.62 million for COVID-19 relief efforts.
Kaval worked alongside state and local officials to open an Accessible Voting Center at the Coliseum for the 2020 General Election. The Coliseum Vote Center was the largest in Northern California and included in-person voting in the Oakland Arena, curbside voting from the car, and ballot drop boxes for individuals to deposit their completed mail-in ballots. The A’s also provided 3,000 KN95 masks and 1,300 pre-loaded Clipper cards to help ensure the most vulnerable Alameda County residents could vote safely. As part of the Vote Center, Alameda County provided free COVID-19 tests and flu shots.
In February 2021, under Kaval’s leadership, the A’s partnered with the White House and the State of California to open the first federally operated vaccination center in the country at the Oakland Coliseum.
Kaval is leading the Club’s efforts to open a new waterfront ballpark in Oakland. He has made it a priority to engage the community to ensure the ballpark project is bigger than baseball. The A’s have hosted hundreds of community meetings and workshops since 2018, giving residents a voice to share their perspectives and insights on how the ballpark can benefit and provide opportunities in Oakland. He is also leading the A’s plans to redevelop the current Coliseum site.
In 2020, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors sold the County’s 50 percent interest of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex to the A’s.
Kaval previously served as the president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. He oversaw the business and soccer sides of the franchise and represented the club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors. He continues to serve as a Board Member of the San Jose Earthquakes.
During his time with the Quakes, the team won the 2012 Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season record. His success with the team culminated in the opening of Avaya Stadium – the Quakes’ $100M privately financed soccer stadium – on March 22, 2015. Kaval developed the innovative $20M naming rights partnership with Avaya, which helped create the first cloud-enabled stadium. Since opening its gates, Avaya Stadium has held numerous events, including the 2016 MLS All-Star Game and World Cup Qualifiers. The 18,000-seat venue also houses the largest outdoor bar in North America.
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 Bay Area Council and Rocketship Education, in addition to the National Governing Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book entitled “The Summer that Saved Baseball,” which highlights 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.
- MBA, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, 2003
- BA, International Relations, Stanford University, 1998
- 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