Executive Team

benjamin-jost

Benjamin Jost

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Benjamin is co-founder and chief executive officer of TrustYou. Prior to TrustYou, he spearheaded the Southern European M&A team for one of the world’s leading renewable energy providers and oversaw hundreds of investment cases covering a profusion of renewable technologies. He started his career in venture capital at Siemens Venture Capital and Xange Capital. During his studies he conducted extensive research into the security aspects of mobile applications systems and organic RFID. Benjamin holds a MsC in engineering from the University of Technology in Munich and conducted research at the ENST Paris and the University of Washington Business School, Seattle.
Jakob-Riegger

Jakob Riegger

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Jakob is co-founder and chief operating officer of TrustYou. Before launching TrustYou, Jakob was global head of consulting and professional services of Autonomy Systems PLC, market-leader in enterprise search and compliance. In 2011, Hewlett-Packard acquired the company for $10 billion. Prior, Jakob co-founded Hype Communications Ltd, the first Skype-based call-by-call and call-back system for mobile phones. Jakob also co-founded and was the non-executive director at Designmuster Ltd, the first global database for patent designs, which was acquired by Questel in 2006. In 1996, Jakob co-founded his first company, Global Linxs GmbH, where he also served as managing director. Autonomy System acquired global Linxs in 2005. Jakob holds a BA in economics from University Konstanz and MS in economics from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.
steffen-wenz

Steffen Wenz

Chief Technology Officer

Steffen joined TrustYou while in graduate school, wearing many hats and embracing the environment of a dynamic startup. For Steffen’s graduate thesis, he scaled TrustYou’s semantic technology and thus invented the algorithms that today provide the foundation of TrustYou’s semantic analysis in more than 20 languages. As a student, Steffen was selected for CTDM, an elite program that enrolls 20 students each year in specialized programs focusing on entrepreneurship, management and technology. Steffen holds a BA in computer science from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich where he graduated in the top one percent of his class and also studied abroad in Paris at Télécom ParisTech. He also holds MS in technology management from Center for Digital Technology & Management in Munich where he graduated in the top five percent of his class.

Board & advisors

kitamura

Yoshihiro Kitamura

Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd.

Yoshi is responsible for the Media and Solution Strategic Business Unit, which includes all non-HR business of Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd. and also serves as the President and Representative Director of Recruit Technologies Co., Ltd. Over 17,000 people based in Asia, North America and Europe report to Yoshi. He was previously the CEO of Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd., one of the operating companies of the Recruit group, where we oversaw Jalan, one of the biggest local OTAs in Japan, Hotpepper Beauty, the Japanese market leader in beauty salon bookings with more than 40K venues, and Hotpepper, a restaurant booking platform serving more than 400K clients. Yoshi started his career at Recruit in 1997 in product development and soon achieved various top management positions within the company. Over the years, he made a name for himself as a business development expert for his breadth of industry knowledge and career experience.
Kawanami

Mikihito Kawanami

Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd.

Miki is Head of Corporate Development for Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd. and also Head of RSI Fund 1, which is Recruit Holdings’ corporate venture capital. His coverage includes the travel industry and also the restaurant, beauty, bridal service, real estate, education, Fin-Tech and healthcare sectors. His experience includes both B2C and B2B SaaS business. Prior to his current position, he lead the strategy team of Recruit Lifestyle Co.,Ltd., an operating company of Recruit group, which operates platforms in sectors of travel, restaurant, beauty, and EC. With 20 years experience in strategy and business development and depth of knowledge, Miki is the talent behind accelerating the growth of the investment company.
Kawashima

Hidetaka Kawashima

Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd.

Hidetaka is Executive Manager of Planning And Management Office at Recruit Holdings Co.,Ltd. Hidetaka started working for Recruit in 2005, and built his business development career in various sectors of the online marketplace. With his 12 years of experience in strategy and business development, Hidetaka is a member of the external directors, managing and supporting a variety of international businesses acquired by Recruit Holdings , including Treatwell, the beauty salon booking business in Europe, Quandoo, the leading restaurant booking platform in Europe and APAC, Movoto, a real estate brokerage business based in the U.S.A., and various OTAs in South East Asia.
philip-wolf

Philip C. Wolf

Founder PhoCusWright Inc.

Years ago, a lonely entrepreneur embraced the controversial idea that the quality of information would differentiate winners and losers in the then‐burgeoning information age. That entrepreneur was Philip Wolf; the year was 1994. The company he founded is now the premier source for travel, tourism and hospitality intelligence. Today, in nearly every industry presentation, there is at least one slide that says, “Source: PhoCusWright.” Now based in Truro, MA and retired from an executive role, Philip is an outspoken, provocative and well‐known travel industry figure. He began his travel career in May 1989 as the head of a small agency and quickly made a name for himself. Industry leaders, struggling to grasp the Internet, recognized his unique outlook and business acumen. Over two decades of analyzing, scrutinizing and opining on strategic change and market trends, Philip has built a brand around his trademark catchphrase: “Strategically correct, not politically correct.” Philip is the architect of the annually acclaimed PhoCusWright Conference. The event’s provocative Center Stage themes are relied upon as industry bellwethers, quickly becoming accepted wisdom each year. He has known many of the industry elite since online travel’s beginning and has interviewed numerous luminaries, including Barry Diller, Carl Icahn and John W. Marriott III. CEOs from every major online travel company, along with top airline, hotel, GDS and search executives, have taken the stage one‐on‐one with Philip. A sought‐after speaker around the world, he has addressed audiences in Australia, Singapore, China, India, Canada, Jordan, Iceland, Argentina, and Brazil, and throughout Europe. Philip is frequently quoted in consumer and trade media, including CNN, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has met with a prime minister, appeared on television in New Zealand, and been referenced in publications worldwide, from a major Asian tech blog to Norway’s Aftenposten and then some. Formerly an adjunct professor at NYU’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management and distinguished lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Philip serves as board director for companies on four continents. He is chairman of Vancouver‐based mobile application developer QuickMobile as well as board director for travel search discovery Hopper.com, India’s MakeMyTrip, Russian OTA oktogo.ru, Brazilian cloud‐based rez system Dashbell, online reputation manager TrustYou and destination tech provider Inntopia. He also serves as board advisor for European OTA ODIGEO, commission recovery specialist Net Trans, and custom software developer DataArt. In addition to the successful sale in 2011 of the company he founded in 1994, Wolf was involved in the sale of Newtrade to Expedia (2002), TravelJigsaw (now rentalcars.com) to Priceline (2010), and the IPO of MakeMyTrip on NASDAQ (2010). Prior to PhoCusWright, Philip was president and CEO of a venture‐funded software developer and travel booking engine pioneer, where he secured two patents for the company’s groundbreaking pricing algorithms. These assets, through a series of acquisitions, are now part of American Express. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Decades after first espousing the power of Internet travel, Philip continues to spark industry epiphanies … and leave audiences buzzing.