Ronald Sarian is General Counsel
VP at eHarmony.
He is also a native Angeleno, and has some interesting hobbies.
E-STET’S ARIA SAFAR SAT DOWN WITH RON TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HIS CAREER, HIS LIFE, AND HIS BAND.
Did you grow up in LA?
I was born in Philadelphia, but lived in Southern California since I was nine months old. I went to UCLA as an undergrad, and my wife went to USC (as did two of our kids). It’s a house divided, but the good thing is that there’s always a winner in our house when USC and UCLA face off in football.
How did you end up in the law?
Well, my father was a radiologist and like many other kids I wanted to be just like my dad. After taking pre-med classes and spending time as an intern in a hospital while an undergrad at UCLA, I decided becoming a doctor was not for me. I got my degree in economics, and worked in accounting after college. I soon felt there had to be more to a career and one day thought, “What the heck, why not take the LSAT?” One thing led to another, and here I am!
How did you end up as the General Counsel of eHarmony?
Before coming GC, I spent the previous 28 years working as a litigator. While at my last firm, where I had been a partner for 17 years, a friend of mine who worked at eHarmony called me out of the blue and asked me if I had ever thought about being a GC. I told him no and that I wasn’t looking for a new job. He said that my broad business experience would make me well qualified. It was so off the wall because it’s quite unusual to jump from being a trial lawyer to in-house counsel. I kept an open mind and I met the founder of eHarmony, as well as a quite a few other folks there, and we connected on so many levels. I felt like it was meant to be. I also really believe in eHarmony’s mission. And so I took the leap.
What’s it like working at eHarmony?
Working at eHarmony has been absolutely fantastic. You’re working with really bright and creative people. I put in a lot of hours each day. It’s so challenging, so big, and so rewarding. eHarmony has created over one million marriages. The stuff that goes into creating the algorithms is incredible—the studies we do are big and complex and we have seven psychologists on staff. eHarmony removes a lot of the steps from the dating process. You know that when you get a match on eHarmony that he or she is as compatible as science can allow.
What was your favorite piece of technology growing up?
The microwave oven. I remember cooking hot dogs in 15 seconds and having my mind blown. That, and the Osborne 1 computer I bought in law school. It was a beast and weighed something like 30 lbs. The black and white screen was tiny. The word processing was archaic. The Osborne 1 cost almost $2000. Now that was a cool piece of equipment!
You have some really diverse and exciting extracurriculars!
I’ve been an avid motorcyclist since I was 13. I ride a big Harley and a crazy sport bike. At 57 years old, I still love motocrossing in the dirt. I do all the jumps and am riding better than ever. It’s very physically demanding and it’s pure adrenaline.
I also play the electric guitar in a band, Quasi-Metalloid. We’ve been together since high school. We played at the Roxy in 2006, and are overdue for another show.
What’s your favorite (mobile) app?
Like a lot of Angelenos fighting traffic: Waze.
Growing up, what technology did you think would be commonplace by now?
Flying cars! I still want one.