James Sayno

James Sayno

Transformational HR Leader

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James is a dynamic and empathic senior leader with over 25 years of experience in the sports, management consulting and financial services industries. He is currently at Nike, Inc. building a new function responsible for increasing total rewards competence and capability among the brand’s 74k global team members. During his tenure, James provided change expertise to the rollout of a retail pay structure for over 20k+ retail athletes and supported a bold competitive pay initiative affecting nearly 10% of team members. He serves the community as a co-lead of the Ascend employee resource group where he channels the voices of the Asian and Middle Eastern communities into action.

Most recently, James was successor to lead HR at the US Olympic Committee. He served the “Team Behind the Team” as the head of talent management, learning and development, compensation, org development and HRM systems. He led a high-functioning team to co-create and execute the non-profit’s talent strategy for critical parts of the team member experience.

James was a pivotal leader in the USOC’s transformation from legacy bureaucracy into a service-focused and stewardship-driven enterprise. He rebuilt the HR function, overhauled the corporate university, innovated on employee engagement, introduced sustainable rewards programs, implemented HR technology systems, redesigned the organization, coordinated disaster response efforts, and developed hundreds of leaders.

In addition, James proudly served the athletes of Team USA as transport and logistics support for Guadalajara 2011, London 2012, Sochi 2014 and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. He also partnered with a key sponsor to develop a $5M scholarship program for elite athletes to pursue an education while continuing to train and represent the U.S.

James has a strong reputation for making meaningful impacts and was named an HR Rising Star by HR Executive magazine. He currently resides in Oregon with his wife and two sons.