Executive Team

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

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

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 CDTM, 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.
Michael Menzel

Michael Menzel

Chief Revenue Officer

Michael Menzel started his career in the map publishing industry, holding various senior director positions at Bertelsmann and GanskePublishingGroup. Being with TrustYou from the first day on, Michael has helped TrustYou creating its very own market and establishing it as a world market leader in the field of guest feedback platforms. As the VP of Strategic Partnerships, Michael oversees all partnerships of the company, e.g. tour operators, hotel associations, technology partners, OTA’s, metasearch companies & GDS’s and many more. Michael is a member of the senior management of TrustYou, an appointed member of the jury of the Bavarian Innovation Price for Tourism, and an appointed member of the Tourism Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria. Michael holds a graduate engineering degree in the field of Geomatics Engineering of the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Board & advisors

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.

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.

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.