Leadership Team

  • Justin Yoshimura

    Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

    Justin is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of 500friends. His infatuation with retail began at age 14, when he opened an eBay account and quickly became one of Ebay's top PowerSellers. Since then, Justin has founded two profitable ecommerce companies with $10M in revenues, and has been recognized by Forbes as a "30 under 30" entrepreneur. He is also an investor in disruptive ecommerce and SaaS companies including BoostCTR, Bounce Exchange, Firebase, First Opinion, Hipmunk, Homejoy, ifeelgoods, OwnLocal, and Zencoder. When he's not helping retailers, he likes to spend time with his furry friends.
  • Matt Gilbert

    Chief Operating Officer

    Matt is responsible for the operational leadership of 500friends, including sales, business development, customer success, marketing, and general company operations. Prior to joining 500friends, Matt served as SVP/CRO of Webloyalty.com where he was responsible for the company's revenue generation activities and customer relationships. Previously, he was a co-founder and SVP of IAC/InterActive Corp's Advertising Solutions Group and SVP and member of the management team credited with orchestrating the turnaround of Ask.com. Matt has also held key roles at Excite@Home and Narrative Communications. Matt holds a B.A. in Politics from Brandeis University.
  • Hong Hu

    Co-founder

    Hong is a technology and social media buff who dropped out of getting his master's degree in computer science at UC Berkeley to co-found 500friends. Prior to 500friends, Hong was a senior developer at Fotoflexer, where he played an instrumental role in building and scaling a photo-editing application that saw user growth scale from 10k to 30M. Previously, he was a technology analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he developed advanced trading software. Hong earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Geoffrey Smalling

    Chief Technology Officer

    Geoffrey leads the technology group at 500friends. His responsibilities include driving the expansion of the LoyaltyPlus product suite and providing expert technical guidance to 500friends' clients. Most recently Geoffrey held the position of CTO at wine.com, where he is credited with modernizing the company's front and back end technologies to grow it into the #1 online wine store. Prior to wine.com, he was a software consultant for Proxicom, working with clients that include Niketown, Toyota USA, and Mazda USA. Geoffrey holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Kristine Jacobs

    VP Customer Success

    Kristine leads the team responsible for the implementation and optimization of the 500friends solution. Her primary focus is the overall satisfaction of 500friends' client base. Acting as their trusted advisors from kickoff through implementation, Kristine's team is dedicated to ensuring that each client realizes the full potential of 500friends' market-leading solution. In her prior roles as a Strategic Relationship Manager at RichRelevance and VP of Strategy and Analysis at Digitas, she has managed key accounts including Sears.com, Overstock.com, and American Express. Kristine holds an M.S. in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University.
  • Zach Woith

    Head of Loyalty Strategy

    Zach is responsible for developing strategies to improve customer loyalty and increase the lifetime value of customer relationships for 500friends client partners, including Internet Retailer Top 500 e-retailers and leading omni-channel retailers. Serving as lead strategist, he provides clients direction in framing the business case & ROI opportunity, formulating program structure, and identifying opportunities for ongoing optimization. Prior to joining 500friends, Zach held multiple eCommerce management roles with hpdirect.com, including launching and managing their highly successful loyalty program. Previously, he held other category management and marketing roles with Hewlett-Packard. Zach holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Strategic Marketing from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.

Advisory Board

  • Neel is currently an Executive Operating Partner at Clearlake Capital Management. Prior to Clearlake, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Rakuten Buy.com (formerly Buy.com) from May, 2006 until his departure in September, 2012 after having served as President and COO from September, 2003. Buy.com was acquired by Rakuten Inc. in May, 2010. Neel remains a Board Director of Rakuten Buy.com and Rakuten U.S.A. Neel also has experience with ThinkTank Holdings, a private equity management company, and the law firms of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP and Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Neel received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine.
  • Shaun was most recently Vice President of Client Services at MyBuys. Prior to MyBuys, he was Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Naehas, a web-based marketing solution to create customized and personalized web pages, where he maintained major client relationships and led follow-up programs for Fortune 500 firms. Prior to Naehas, Shaun spent over 19 years in financial services and technology marketing with companies such as Charles Schwab, Amazon.com, and Wells Fargo. Shaun is a frequent industry speaker at 1:1 marketing events sponsored by the DMA, U.S. Postal Service, and the National Center for Database Marketers.
  • Siva is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with a history of building successful information technology and software companies. He is currently the CEO of TheFind.com, a leading shopping search engine. Prior to this, he cofounded eight venture-funded start-ups including Onebox (acquired by Openwave), BridgeSpan (acquired by Hall Settlement Systems), Impresse (acquired by PrintCafe/Creo Systems), Seven, Vialto (acquired by Cisco Systems), Scalent Systems and Telera (acquired by Alcatel).
  • David is the CEO of Rich Relevance, first garnered international recognition as an expert in the field of ecommerce data analytics and personalization with his groundbreaking work leading the research and development arm of Amazon's Data Mining and Personalization team. In that role, David increased Amazon's annual profit by over $50 million (25% of US profit, 2003) setting the industry standard for recommendation services.
  • Karl is a serial entrepreneur who has founded companies including Dimension X (acquired by Microsoft) and Keen (acquired by At&T). He has raised over $200 million from investors including Amerindo, Microsoft, eBay, Integral Partners, Norwest Ventures, Bay Partners, Benchmark Capital, Deutsche Bank, Ignition Partners, and Vulcan Ventures, to whom he has generated over $300 million in returns.
  • Jeff was the founder and CEO of StubHub.com, the largest secondary ticket marketplace in the world. Jeff founded StubHub in 2000 and led its rapid growth and expansion until it was generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually and was acquired by eBay for $310 Million in 2007.
  • Matt was most recently CEO of Loyalty Lab, a customer relationship management platform that integrates on-demand loyalty programs for online travel retailers and service companies. After the startup's $23 million acquisition by TIBCO Software in late 2010, Matt took on an executive role with the parent company for two years. During his time at Loyalty Lab, Matt held various leadership roles, including Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering. Prior to that, he helped Fortune 500 companies and government agencies design and scale enterprise solutions at several consulting and custom development firms. Matt holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Oregon.