Working with Adult Friend Finder, Sagi is in a position of within the adult industry. Coming from an I.T. educational background, Friend Finder showed him a new world. One where doors he never thought existed opened for him. A class act, he does not let this go to his head. Sagi has the respect and friendship of some of the most powerful people in this game today.
Pictures complements of Fubar
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GFY Ambush Interview thread on Sagi AFF
Is it true you like to dress up like a woman?
Pierre has a very dirty fetish involving dressing up like females with tourists. We honestly didn't know what we were getting ourselves into and how far it would go. He's a very persuasive guy. In the end we figured since we had the dresses on we might as well pose for a picture. If you look closely Irish Pimp is actually sitting on an ass buoy. Fred brought his dress back home with him.
Just how the fuck do you pronounce your name?
It's pronounced Sah-gee with the accent on the first syllable. I think the spelling throws everyone off. It's not like it's a word made of foreign sounds. It's just a combination that people aren't accustom to I suppose. There was a baseball player named David Segui. His last name is pronounced exactly like my first.
I hear you're a lazy bum who never keeps his word? Discuss.
I try to always keep my word. If you can't keep your word then how can people depend on you? I'm really cautious about making promises that would be difficult to keep because in the end it just makes the other party upset.
Conversely I'm pretty intolerant of people not keeping their word with me. Nothing frustrates me more than depending on someone to pull through and then having to scramble when you find out that someone didn't make good on a promise.
Did you walk into the marketing job ? How did you get it?
No not really. I started working at at FriendFinder in 2002 as a temp. I worked in the Customer Service department. We have millions of real members calling round the clock. Our CS department is pretty sizable as you can imagine. After about 5 months I was selected to move into our Abuse Team.
We have a staff the works 24 hours a day removing abusive members profiles and those that are created by bots. FriendFinder has always been proactive about keeping the integrity of it's member database sound.
After 7 months of being a temp in both Customer Service and our Abuse Team I was offered a permanent job at FF in the Abuse Team. A few months later I was promoted to the Abuse Team Lead.
I held on to the Abuse Team Lead position for just over a year and then was strongly encouraged to make a jump to marketing. I was very hesitant about it at the time. I felt that I was in line to become a manager in the Customer Service Department and that I might be leaving the department before all my opportunities were met. FriendFinder's HR Director spoke with me and told me that "sometimes the smallest opportunities open the doors to larger ones". (In this case she was 100% right.) I took the position which was later defined as Raquel's (she was the past Sr Affiliate Manager) assistant.
That's how I got into Marketing at FF. I learned a lot from Raquel during the brief time that I worked under her. She was extremely kind to me and started referring to me as her little brother. Whenever we talk now we still joke about that. Raquel wanted to teach me everything she knew. She had a lot of confidence in me and wanted me to be the best that I could be.
Discuss your sex life and what turns you on. Guys, girls, animals.
I'm a sucker for the innocent girl next door type. Or the girl with the dorky glasses that you can tell is smoking hot.
Fred also looks good in a dress. But it's hard to trust a guy fondling himself while cross dressing.
Is it true Lars has a small penis and needs a porche to make up for it?
That sounds about right.
In all seriousness Lars is the last guy to buy something in order to compensate for something else. If Lars drives a Porche it's not because he wants others to take awe of it -- it's because he likes the car. He's the most down to earth millionaire I know. I sometimes wonder how he ranks next to the Olsen twins. They seem pretty laid back to me.
Just how smart is this Professor guy you work for?
Andrew has more degrees than a thermometer. He's amazingly bright. He has such impressive command over every subject matter related to his company. He knows what everyone is doing and what they should be doing. Andrew knows where his company is going and where it needs to go. He sees things that are 3 months, 6 months or even 5 years away. I've honestly never had a conversation with him that lasted more than 2 minutes where I didn't learn something new. There is so much that I have learned and will no doubt continue to learn from him.
It's humbling and enlightening at the same time to work for The Professor.
What's it like working for the biggest adult company on the net?
It's about time you get around to ambushing someone from AFF btw!
Working for AFF is a blast. The site does a good job of selling itself. We have an incredibility strong brand name that everyone's heard of. Many times when I talk to webmasters about promoting AFF it's not about if they will try AFF out it's about when they will.
Inside the office I work with a solid team of affiliate managers and coordinators. They are all professional about their jobs and share the same enthusiasm for helping their affiliates make money as I do. We all get along fairly well and no one takes themselves too seriously. It helps to keep things lighthearted around the office space.
Even though our company is fairly large in staff it still behaves like a startup in some ways. There aren't a lot of corporate rules in place that are set in stone. If you can make a case for changing a procedure and it's sound you'll likely see the change made.
Is it true women run off and get married after fucking you?
It only happened once. The good news is that it wasn't me that she married.
For those that don't know, Sleazy is referring to this girl I met in Gimli. About a month later she e-mailed me her wedding pictures from Bangkok or something. I still don't know the full story if it was planned, if she eloped, or if she just married some guy she met while on vacation.
What's the coolest thing about going to adult webmaster conventions?
I think the best part is seeing the people that attend. There's a lot of cool people in our industry and hanging out with them in different cities is pretty fucken cool.
Also all the traveling to different parts of the World. In the past year I've been to a lot cities in different states or countries that I had never visited before. I'm always seeing something new.
Traveling a lot helps break the monotony of coming into the office on a daily basis. It gives me a chance to get away from things and clear my mind.
How many conventions do you attend a year? Favorites? Least Favorites?
I've been to plenty in the last year (Cybernet, Internext, Webmaster Accesses, Redneck Getaway, Island Gathering, Ad Techs..). My favorites are the Webmaster Access shows. They are pretty laid back since I don't have to worry about manning a booth. The best thing about them is that since they are regional I always meet new people and come away with new business for AFF.
My least favorite favorite shows that I attend are the mainstream ones. Ad Tech, SES, etc. I enjoy the shows but if I had choose between an adult show and a mainstream show I'd choose the adult show any day. The people that attend are cooler.
Is watching football a subsitute for your latent homosexual tendencies?
LOL.. I love NFL football and NBA basketball. NFL football is a perfect fan sport. Teams play at most one game a week and it's all on the weekend. If you miss the games you can read the paper on Monday morning and find out about all the wins, injuries or whatever from the weekend.
I enjoy spending a Sunday sitting around doing nothing but watching football and checking up on my fantasy team. In fact when I answer some of these questions tomorrow I'll be watching football.
Is all beer the same?
I like most pilsners. People give me a hard time becaues I like Budwiser but fuck'em. It's a cheap beer and it's good. Best yet my roomate just started working at a Budwiser factory and he keeps bringing cases of Bud home. Our beer fridge is stacked.
Where do you live and why?
I live in Burlingame, California. I have a roommate who's a friend of mine from high school. At the time he was working in San Francisco and FriendFinder offices are in Palo Alto. So we were looking for something in the Peninsula that was central to both of our jobs. We ended up in Burlingame.
I'm hoping that I can save up enough to buy a place in a couple years. Housing is expensive in the Bay Area but I'm sick of landlords and supers.
What kind of degree do you have? Discuss your educational experience.
I have a degree in Computer Information System from CSU Chico. Chico was an awesome school to go to. I think my time in college really transformed my life. Chico has a rep for being a party school and indeed did live up to that while I attended. My freshman year dorm life was wild and crazy. We partied and drank a lot.
One Thursday night I was coming back from an evening class and all my friends at the dorm were already drunk and hanging out. I made the mistake of playing catchup and going too far too fast. I took 7 shots of bacardi rum in 30 minutes and it fucked me up. I kept drinking Southern Comfort when the bottle of bacardi ran dry. The next memory I have is puking my guts outside the dorm. After that it's being woken up in a hospital by two nurses. I got really sick and couldn't stop dry heaving. Someone called a non-emergency ambulence out to see me. They said they woke me up and gave me all kinds of tests (asked me my name, how many fingers they were holding up, where I was, etc.) and also monitered my vital signs. Everything was fine but I was told that as they were walking out the door I started dry-heaving in my sleep. Since they had come to check me out they were liable for me and refused to leave without me since I was dry-heaving in my sleep. That's how I ended up in the hospital.
When I woke up I had no clue where I was and my eyes followed an IV bag and it's tube all the way down to my left arm. The first thing I asked was how drunk was I last night? They explained to me everything that had happened and asked me if I had a number of someone that could get me. I gave them my friend's number and they left the room to call him. I remember sitting there and looking accross at the table and noticing my shorts and thinking to myself they must have taken them off and set them there. Then I noticed my boxers underneath them on the table and got curious as to what I was wearing underneath the hospital bed sheets. I pulled up the blanket and looked down to see, much to my disappointment, that I was wearing a diaper! I instantly ripped it off and reached for my boxers and shorts.
After that pricey experience I got more cautious about my drinking. I still get drunk now and then but don't let myself get that out of control. My friends all said that I was hilarious and kept them in stitches all night from laughing so hard. For some reason people really like to see me get inebriated.
Did you really get paid to play video games?
I graduated from Chico State December 2000. No company was hiring entry level at the time. All the dotcoms were laying off. I couldn't even get someone at a job fair to look at my resume since I had no experience. The only job I could find was in a market that was growing was working tech support for Electronic Arts. I supported their Maxis line of games which was mostly "The Sims". It's the best selling game in video game history and is the only succesfully selling game where the majority of people who play it are female. The majority of the people calling for support help about it are bon-bon eating, Oprah watching, middle aged housewives who don't know how to use a computer. It made walking them though things difficult. I was a contract employee and after it ran out found a job at Infogrames.
I worked there for a few months as a video game tester. That's where I spent hours a day playing video games for money. The only cool thing about it was the cool people I worked with. Since we were testers by nature all the games were buggy. The hours were long because they forced 12 hour days and they wanted one 8 hour day on the weekend. In addition the pay sucked. I also had no control over what game I was assigned to test. I had to do kids games but the worst was NeverWinter Nights. I've never been into Dungons & Dragons but now I had to be concerned with +3 dragon slaying axes versus a ogre.
I left that job for FriendFinder the day I found out from the temp agency that I was hired.
You can find my name in the the credits for a few of the games that I got a chance to test.
Do you rub the fact that you're one of the "chosen people" into "non chosen" people's faces?
I don't think I do. Maybe when I'm around VirtuMike. But that's just because he's the most in your face Jew you could ever meet. It cracks me up.
The last day of Internext last year we ordered sandwiches from the Rum Jungle before my flight out. There were about 8 of us and everyone got their food except for me. The waitress never put my order in and she kept stalling. For some reason it ended up talking longer to get my one dish than it took to make everyone elses. VirtuMike told me that I wasn't a real Jew because at one point when the waitress came around to ask everyone how the food was I didn't say anything. He says I should have said, "Oh my gosh this food is so good you have to try it."
Then when she looks down and sees no food in front of me she'll say, "What food?".
To which I if I was a "real Jew" Mike says I would have matter-of-factly exhaled, "Ahhhh-ah!".
Discuss the incident with the poodle and the dildo that got you kicked out of the circus in college.
Since I don't think there will be any pictures found to prove this, I'm going to flat out deny the incident ever happened.
Have you ever been HAMMERED or high at a webmaster event? (cough, cough, Cancun, woops did I say that out loud)
I've never been high at a webmaster event and never will be. I don't smoke pot and even if I did I wouldn't do it on my company's time.
The last day of the Webmaster Access Getaway this year I did get hammered. I was having a good time ordering shots and my bartender friend was giving me two at a time.
Why was it so hard for you to get a job after you got your degree?
I touched on this a bit earlier but I'll go into more detail. My last semester of college everyone was asking me if I had any jobs yet. Back then anyone with IT education was eagerly sought after. I didn't feel like interviewing and driving down to the Bay Area while still in my last semester. I had a few difficult classes that I was focusing on and figured the jobs would still be there after I graduated.
The timing of my graduation was aweful. Companies where laying off not hiring so it wasn't the best time to try to get an entry level job. While I was looking I worked at a Computer Networking training center doing administrative stuff in exchange for taking free networking courses. I was thinking about finding an system adminstrator job once I finished the courses and got my certifications.
I ended up getting a job doing technical support for EA and I was still working at the networking school on the weekends and evenings until they went out of business.
It sucked not being able to find a job but in the end I think things worked out well for me.
Where is your family from? Where are they now?
My dad was born in Alexandria, Egypt. His family moved to Israel when he was only a year old. Israel as a nation was a only one or two years old. Before Egypt my father's family was living in an Italian port city called Corfu.
My mom was born in Oradia, Romania. It's located in the Transylvania region of Romania and is one town over from Dracula's castle. I've never been there but plan on going sometime. After her parents divorced my mom and grandmother moved to Israel. My grandfather moved to South San Francisco.
Later on my parents moved to the US though my grandfather right before my second birthday. They still live in South San Francisco in a house they've owned for over 20 years.
What cities have you lived in and why?
I was born in Naharia, Israel but grew up in South San Francisco. I've lived in Chico, California while in college. After college I've lived in San Jose, Santa Clara, and now Burlingame. Those 3 cities are all here in the Bay Area close to enough to Palo Alto where FriendFinder is located. I'd love to live in Palo Alto and cut down on my commute time but it's an expensive area to live in.
How did you start at Adult Friend Finder? How did you obtain your current position?
I already covered my start at FriendFinder but getting my current position is also an interesting story. I was Raquel's assistant for about 3 weeks and then she went on vacation for 10 days. I was watching over her affiliates while she gone and handling the issues that came up. When she returned she decided that she wanted a change from FriendFinder and put in her resignation.
Andrew brought me into his office and started off telling me that he was going to need my help. I was expecting him to say that he wanted me to help out with the affiliates until a replacement could be found. But that's not what he was asking for. He wanted me to continue working with the affiliates. Andrew said I did a good job with them while she was on her vacation and that I should continue with it. He asked me to go to Atlanta with Jack for Webmaster Access and to find Lars and talk to him.
My mom had for some reason read my horoscope that day and called me later on to tell me that it said I would be traveling places with my job soon. That night when I emptied my pockets at home I pulled out one of those centenial celebration quarters and it was for Georgia!
Jack was running the Affilaite Team and I was working with most of the top affiliates. We started expanding the team and now have a sizable staff of affiliate managers and coordinators. After Jack's departure from FriendFinder in March I took over running the team under the Director of Marketing and Lars' guidence. I get along well with Andrew, Lars and the rest of the FriendFinder / Various upper management so it makes doing my job that much easier.
Talk about Jack. Did you feed him drugs to get him fired to get his job?
I didn't meet Jack at FriendFinder until I became Raquel's assistant. I really got to know him after she departed and we started traveling to shows a lot. We use to talk a lot away from the office and brainstorm. We were both very dedicated to our jobs and the growth of the company. He gave me a lot of confidence to do the job I was doing and I learned quite a bit from him. Mostly I was enjoying the team atmosphere that we created in our office.
Towards the end some things happened that eventually lead to his time at FriendFinder ending. No one was happy that the relationship had to end the way it did.
I never did anything to set him up to get fired. It wasn't my intention to take over his job as I was happy in my role at FriendFinder at the time. Jack use to talk about being a lifer at FriendFinder so I never thought about a promotion coming from his departure from the company.
Discuss the car chase you were in when you were 16.
Two weeks after I got my licence I was hanging out with some friends and we got hungry and went to a supermarket to get some grub. As we were leaving we saw a car full of girls pulling away as well. We followed them for shits and giggles to see where we'd end up. At one point in order to keep up with them I had to cut off a truck.
We ended up losing them up a hill in a residentual area. We decided to wait a few minutes at the bottem of the hill to see if they drive by. While waiting the truck that I cut off drove up next to me and the people inside were pissed and coming after us. I floored it and took off. They followed us for like 40 minutes. I was in a piece of shit 1980 honda accord and couldn't lose them. We were also lost in this residentual area and couldn't find our way out. I was running though stopsigns and doing everything I could to lose them. Eventually I had to go around someone who was waiting at a stop sign in order to finally lose them. We found our way to the freeway and out of there shortly after.
I thought we were going to get our asses kicked that night. It made us wonder if we were freaking the shit out of the girls that we started off following ourselves.
What were your first three jobs?
The first job I had was working as staff at a summer camp.
The following summer (1995) I worked for Digital Video Magazine. I would take press releases they recieved about digital video products and summarise it for a product database that was going to be uploaded on to their website. That's when I got my first taste of the Internet.
One summer in college I interned for ThermoFinnigan a company in San Jose that made liquid and gas chromatography equipment. My job was to write test scripts using Visual Test for their software. Whenever a new beta was released we could run my test scripts and quickly find if a new bug was introduced into the code.
How many women/men have been sexually harrassed at your office? Discuss.
Jack and I were spoken to about a GFY thread he made that I posted in about a FriendFinder employee earlier this year. Is that what you are referring to? Other than that I haven't seen anything else during my time at FF. We have rules in the office to prevent an uncomfortable work enviroment. In fact I'm not even allowed to wear the AFF shirt with the stick figures on them that you often see me wearing at the shows while in the office.
Are you religious?
No, I don't think you could call me religious. Religious Jews keep their heads covered, keep strictly kosher, pray 3 times a day, don't work or use electricty on Saturdays, probably don't work in adult either.
I won't eat pork or shellfish -- if it's from under the sea it's not for Sagi. Aside from that I do mix milk and meat products in the same meal, which Jews aren't suppose to do. I'd got to religious services as much as I should. You could call me a secular Jew.
I identify with the Jewish culture more than I practice the religion. There have been so many times in Jewish history that people have wanted to kill us off. That's why I think it's important to maintain my Jewish identity. I can't let the haters win by letting Judaism disappear.
What's so sexy about girls in boots?
I like leggy girls in boots. Who doesn't?
Are you really a mama's boy? How often do you eat with them?
Who said I'm a mama's boy? I'm going to have to call my mom up and tell
I'm not a mama's boy... I might be a good son. I mostly have dinner with my parents when I'm over there to pick up my mail or do
laundry. They know what I do for a living and are okay with it.
If you got fired tomorrow, what would you do?
I haven't really thought about it because it's not something I worry about
anymore. I'd probably call you Scott and see if you knew of anyone that was
hiring. I would want to stay in adult doing what I have been. I really enjoy my work.
But if I had to I guess I could always work for the Olsen twins as a back up.
Discuss what you want in a wife/life partner and your thoughts on children.
I'm looking for someone that is fun, that I can communicate well with, and share enough interests with so that I don't get bored in life with her.
I do want to have kids at some point but that's not for awhile.
Where do you see the adult industry and your company in 2 years, 5 years and 10 years.
This is tough. It's easier to guess where the technology will take us. Unfortunately I think legislation will have a bigger impact on where the industry goes in the next decade. It's scary that the US government thinks that they can remove pornography from the Internet by driving everything overseas. It would be laughable if the situation we are in wasn't a reality. The problem is a result of legislative bodies that are made up of dinosaurs who don't know what the Internet is and how it works. As time goes on (read: and old people in Congress die) that should change.
As far as business goes I think more companies will do what FriendFinder and Streamray have done and partner or completely merge. This will happen at a faster pace if legislation scares some of us out of business. It will also put some in better positions to compete and grow. You'll start to see top notch companies separate themselves from the pack and widen the gap between them.
In the meantime, I'm hopeful that action groups like the Free Speech Coalition will have enough fight to stand up to those would send us overseas. I say overseas and not out of business because that's the reality, you can't roll back progress on the Internet.
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