Board of Directors
Axel Hefer serves as CEO of trivago N.V. since 2020, where he has been a managing director and CFO since 2016. Prior to joining trivago, Mr. Hefer was managing director, CFO and COO of Home24 AG, an online home furniture and decor company, from 2014 to 2016, and managing director of One Equity Partners, the Private Equity Division of J.P. Morgan Chase from 2011 to 2014. Mr. Hefer holds a Master’s degree in management from Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) in 2000 and an MBA from INSEAD in 2003.
Mr. Bangaly Kaba is currently the Head of Platform Growth at Popshop Live, a live streaming mobile marketplace that combines commerce, entertainment, and social, which he joined in June 2020. Popshop is reimagining ecommerce as a people-centric, engaging experience for both sellers and buyers across the US. From January 2020 to March 2021, Mr. Kaba was an Executive in Residence at Reforge, the leading career development company for tech professionals. Mr. Kaba served as VP of Product Management at Instacart, a grocery delivery marketplace startup with a valuation of over $39B, from November 2018 to November 2019. At Instacart, Mr. Kaba led the Growth and Consumer organizations that built the core functionality for user onboarding, shopping, and product discovery. From February 2014 to November 2018, Mr. Kaba worked at Facebook Inc. where his last role was the Head of Growth at Instagram. Mr. Kaba joined Instagram when it had 450M monthly actives and helped it to grow to over 1B monthly actives in just 2.5 years, making Instagram one of the world’s fastest growing apps. Mr. Kaba’s career prior to Facebook spanned multiple industries, including working in education as a Dean of a boarding school in Switzerland, working in finance as an Asset Manager at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, and founding an e-commerce startup. Mr. Kaba holds a BA in History and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from the University of Southern California. Mr. Kaba has been selected as a nominee to our Board of Directors because he possesses particular knowledge and experience in consumer technology, building mobile digital products, and accelerating growth through social media.
Bradley J. Goldberg founded Quartz Strategic LLC where he also serves as Chief Executive Officer in November 2019. Prior to that he has served as the President of PEAK6 Investments, L.P. since 2011. Mr. Goldberg focused on business strategy, business operations, and people development across PEAK6 and its operating companies. From 2009 until 2011, Mr. Goldberg was the CEO of PEAK6 Online, where he led a portfolio of early stage financial technology businesses, including OptionsHouse, which was subsequently sold to General Atlantic and then to E*TRADE. Prior to PEAK6, Mr. Goldberg served in multiple leadership positions at Microsoft across the Online, Enterprise, and Developer businesses. Mr. Goldberg was the General Manager for the Search Business Unit, where he was accountable for global product management, marketing, and revenue for Bing. Mr. Goldberg graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Amherst College and completed post graduate work in Japan, at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. Mr. Goldberg earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was awarded second year honors.
Colleen Brown is a seasoned Public Company CEO and Corporate Board Director collaborating with directors and executives on stakeholder value creation. She has gained a reputation for diplomacy, strategic vision and impactful leadership. Ms. Brown has been recognized by fellow directors as: an NACD “Top 100 Director” in the US, an NACD PNW “Director of the Year”, a Women Inc. “Most Influential Corporate Board Director” and the Seattle Business Magazine “CEO of the Year”. She is a Gamco Management Hall of Fame winner for creating significant shareholder value while serving as Director, President and CEO at Fisher Communications (formerly FSCI NASDQ). Previously, Brown served in the C-Suite of Belo Corp. (formerly BLC NYSE) a then Fortune 1000 company, President of Broadcast for Lee Enterprises (LEE NYSE), and various executive roles for Gannett (GCI NYSE), a then Fortune 500 Company. She has served on the boards of American Apparel Inc. (APP NYSE) as Chairperson, Boeing Employee Credit Union (BECU), DataSphere Technologies Inc., Career Builder, and Cars.com. She has served on the boards of Associated Press (AP), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Association of Programming and Television Executives (NATPE) and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). Brown has an MBA from the University of Colorado and a BS from the University of Dubuque. She is a graduate of Stanford Directors’ College and the Harvard Executive Program.
She currently serves on the board of True Blue Inc. (TBI NYSE) where she chairs the Innovation & Technology Committee, Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV NASDAQ) and Spark Networks (LOV NASDAQ) where she Chairs the Board. She is a NACD Leadership Fellow, exemplifying commitment to excellence in the Board Room. Ms. Brown is a Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Leadership Institute. She began her career in finance and technology and continues to invest in and advise early-stage technology companies. She is a frequent speaker and resource on corporate disruption and innovation.
Chelsea Grayson is Executive-in-Residence for BounceX since March 2020. Prior to that Ms Grayson was Chief Executive Officer of True Religion between November 2018 until June 2019 and Chief Executive Officer of American Apparel from September 2016 until April 2017 where she hold several senior management position since 2014. Ms Grayson currently serves at the Board of Vireo Health where she chairs the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and of Rex Mundi. Prior to that Ms. Grayson was a member of the board of several leading B2C companies. Ms. Grayson received a J.D. from Loyola Law School and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
David Khalil is an entrepreneur and business angel. He is the founder and was managing director of Sunshine Smile GmbH which was founded in 2017. He currently serves on the board of Sunshine Smile GmbH. Prior to that, from August 2016 to November 2016, he acted as interim CFO at flaschenpost GmbH. Mr. Khalil served as managing director at Affinitas from 2008 until February 2016. Previous to his time at Affinitas, Mr. Khalil worked as an investment manager at European Founders Fund from 2007 to 2008 and as a business consultant at Boston Consulting Group from 2006 to 2007. He has also made numerous angel investments. In 2006, Mr. Khalil received a Master’s degree in business administration from WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Business, where he focused on corporate finance, controlling and entrepreneurship.
Eric Eichmann joined Spark Networks in November 2019 as Chief Executive Oficer. Until 2018 Mr. Eichmann was with Criteo S.A. since April 2013 where he hold the position of CEO since 2015. Prior to joining Criteo, Eric was COO at Living Social and at Rosetta Stone, SVP of Advertising Operations and Technology at AOL, and Eric was also a senior engagement manager at McKinsey&Co. Eric holds a master’s degree in computer engineering from EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Mr. Joseph E. Whitters is currently a partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm, which he joined in 2005. Mr. Whitters represents Frazier on the boards of Orthotic Holdings, Inc, and Parata Systems. Furthermore, Mr. Whitters currently is a member of the Board of Directors of Accuray Incorporated and Cutera, Inc. Mr. Whitters has previously served on the board of directors of other publicly traded public companies, including PRGX Global, Inc., InfuSystem Holdings, Inc., Analogic Corporation, Air Methods Corporation, Mentor Corp, Omnicell, Inc.. Mr. Whitters was a member of the Audit Committee of all of these respective organizations and in many cases, he chaired the Audit Committee. He also served on the board at various privately held companies, including Rural/Metro Corp., Northfield Medical and Revionics LLC. Mr. Whitters held various finance positions of increasing responsibility at First Health Group Corporation (“FHCC”), a public managed care organization where he served as Chief Financial Officer for many years. Prior to FHCC, Mr. Whitters held various financial positions with United Healthcare and Overland Express. Mr. Whitters is a certified public accountant (inactive) and began his career in public accounting with Peat Marwick. Mr. Whitters holds a B.A. in Accounting from Luther College. Mr. Whitters has been selected as a nominee to our Board of Directors because he possesses particular knowledge and experience in accounting, finance and risk management, governance, and has public company operating experience as a CFO and experience as a chair and member of numerous audit committees of public and private companies.