Founder and CEO
Gilad Japhet’s background in hi-tech portrays his drive for excellence. Mr. Japhet managed BRM Technologies' anti-virus research unit, acquired by Symantec. In this role he supervised the analysis of computer viruses and developed algorithms for defeating them. He then played a key role in BackWeb Technologies, an internet infrastructure company, first as product architect and later as the head of product management. His contribution was instrumental to the company's successful IPO on NASDAQ. Working out of the company's HQ in San Jose, California, he was personally responsible for the company's strategic accounts, and was named twice the company's MVP of the year. Mr. Japhet was also head of product management in startups SpearHead Technologies and Picatel Systems, prior to founding MyHeritage.com.
Mr. Japhet is an experienced genealogist, bringing MyHeritage.com a unique combination of vision, passion and expertise in professional software development and genealogy. His dream lies behind the inception of MyHeritage.com.
Mr. Japhet holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, graduating summa cum laude with President Award honors.
He is married with 3 cute children.
Chief Operations Officer
Yuval Ben-Galim brings to MyHeritage 15 years of leadership experience in the high-tech industry. Yuval combines his strengths in people management with unparalleled understanding of web technologies to spearhead new product developments and synergize company operations at MyHeritage.
Before joining MyHeritage, Yuval was Chief Operations Officer at leading grocery price comparison website mySupermarket, where he was responsible for building and managing the entire R&D division and for cross-departmental management of technical operations – from software engineering, QA and IT to customer support. Prior to mySupermarket, Yuval headed R&D operations at ProSight (now owned by Oracle), where his management skills, technical knowledge and excellence in product development proved a key factor in maturing the company for its acquisition in 2005.
Yuval holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in computer science from the Hebrew University, and was the recipient of the prestigious annual President’s Award in 1994.
Applying his 'live life to the full' philosophy in his spare time, Yuval enjoys trekking, camping and world travel with his wife and 5 children.
Chief Marketing Officer
As Chief Marketing Officer at MyHeritage Ori Soen is responsible for leading global marketing operations at MyHeritage. Managing multiple teams and driving all online and offline activities at MyHeritage, Ori brings extensive experience in building and executing marketing roadmaps that redefine industries. Prior to MyHeritage Ori was General Manager at Jajah where he was responsible for a multi-million dollar P&L including Jajah’s consumer offering used by millions and its white-label B2B cloud Communications Platform used by Microsoft, Yahoo!, Match.com and many others.
Prior to assuming the GM role, Ori was Chief Marketing Officer at Jajah where he was leading marketing and product management. Under his leadership Jajah solidified its position as the world’s leading provider of cloud IP Communication Solutions leading to a successful acquisition by Telefónica in January of 2010.
Prior to joining Jajah, Mr. Soen was co-founder and CEO of MuseStorm, which developed a cross-platform rich media advertising solution. Mr. Soen led MuseStorm through two financing rounds and to partnerships with leading media companies such as the Washington Post and CBS and technology leaders such as Google and Yahoo!.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Smadar brings over 15 years of experience in establishing effective Finance and Accounting operations in a variety of settings including technology, industrial and commercial companies.
Most recently, as VP Finance at MediaMind, a global provider of digital advertising solutions, Smadar co-led the company's IPO on Nasdaq, executed M&A activities for the company and led a team of 50 employees in 15 worldwide entities in various areas of financial management. Prior to that Smadar was a senior manager at Ernst & Young, a world leading accounting firm.
Smadar holds a B.A. in Accounting and an MBA in Finance and Accounting and has lectured for over a decade at the College of Management’s Business School. In her spare time Smadar enjoys scuba diving, yoga and world travel with her husband.
Chief Content Officer
A highly regarded visionary with proven execution capabilities within the family history market, Russ is leading the growth of historical content at MyHeritage and has established a historical records department to drive this activity. Russ brings a wealth of expertise in historical content acquisition, licensing and digitization from his previous 11-year role as CEO of iArchives, Inc. and Founder and CEO of its customer-facing website Footnote.com, which was sold to Ancestry.com in 2010. Russ also had a long and successful career in the financial world, holding past positions as CFO and Board member at Assist Cornerstone Technologies and Senior Manager at world leading professional services firm, Ernst and Young. Russ holds a BS and MS in Accounting from the Brigham Young University in Utah. A father of five, Russ enjoys golf and snowboarding in his spare time.
Chief Technology Officer
Sagi lives and breathes all things digital. His adept skill at identifying and implementing new technologies ensures that MyHeritage’s services remain high-performing and efficient. In his previous role, Sagi built the entire infrastructure for leading Israeli e-commerce site, Shopy.co.il, where his technology know-how led to significant growth in both development and production. At MyHeritage, Sagi is responsible for migrating company technologies to the fastest, most scalable and most resource efficient operating systems. He recently lead a team of engineers in building a massive data-center, and was instrumental in launching the images and searchable index of the 1940 U.S. Census. Sagi holds a B.A. in Computer Science and Management from the Open University.
SVP of Product Management
Uri Gonen has been with MyHeritage since 2006, where he brings his experience of over 20 years in product management, product development and the design of complex software architecture. An original member of BackWeb Technologies, an Internet infrastructure company, Mr. Gonen was a key contributor to its successful IPO. Prior to BackWeb, Mr. Gonen held key positions in Israeli incubator and venture firm BRM Technologies where he was involved in software development and management and business development and took an active part in building new Internet infrastructure startups.
Mr. Gonen is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holds a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics and an M.A. in Computer Science.
General Manager, USA
As General Manager of MyHeritage operations in North America, Noah plays a strategic role in expanding operations and driving new product development. Prior to its acquisition by MyHeritage, Noah was the CEO of Geni.com, where he excelled at identifying market opportunities, understanding customer needs and executing a first-class user-experience. With a career in operational management and customer support spanning more than a decade, including previous positions at Fox Television and Avid Technology, Noah has a reputation for customer excellence.
Noah is a member of the Mensa organization and has a B.A in Mathematics from California State University, Northridge.
A Los Angeles native, he enjoys an active lifestyle hiking, biking, and freerunning with his wife and two kids.
Roger has over 20 years experience in building and motivating teams in creating and delivering innovative, world-class products. As VP Product, Roger is driving the growth of our next-generation community infrastructure and building the tools for the crowdsourcing of historical record production. Roger spent four years at Footnote.com as Senior VP Product and Development, and was instrumental in defining the strategic direction of Footnote.com and in the creation and management of the team. Prior to joining Footnote.com, he was Director of Product Management at Ancestry.com from 2002 until 2006, where he was in charge of the search engine, user experience and community tools. He was also a member of the CEO’s advisory committee. Before joining Ancestry.com, Roger held the following positions: Director of Product Management at Sorenson Media, Inc., Co-founder and Vice President of Product Development at Digital Harbor, Inc. (sold company after three years of operation) and Director of Product Management at Novell, Inc. Roger received his B.A. in Secondary Education, Physics and Spanish from Brigham Young University.
Roger has three children with his wife Liz, and they share a love for competitive sports. A more relaxing pastime of Roger’s is building furniture and restoring antique furniture.
Ran Peled is an expert in mission-critical and enterprise software development with over 22 years of experience.
As Chief Architect and Development Manager at Proficiency, a leading provider of CAD interoperability solutions, he led the company's infrastructure development group. In this role he was also a driving force in introducing Agile Development methods into the organization.
Prior to Proficiency, Mr. Peled held several management and software architecture roles at BackWeb Technologies (NASDAQ: BWEB), an Internet infrastructure company, where he led integrations with product partners SAP and TIBCO, and architected key components within the product line.
Prior to BackWeb, Mr. Peled held different positions in Advanced Technologies LTD and the Israel Defense Force, and was involved in the development of the next generation of a sophisticated Command, Control and Intelligence system for the Israeli Intelligence.
Mr. Peled holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Physics from the Bar Ilan University in Israel.
Adam Fisher is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, where he manages investments in world-leading consumer web and disruptive technology companies. Adam joined BVP in 2007 after 9 years with Jerusalem Venture Partners, where he was partner in their New York, Jerusalem and Beijing offices. Adam's portfolio includes other leading Israeli start-ups such as Wix, BillGuard, Soluto, Fiverr, Altair and Densbits and he has been involved in multiple exits including Allot Communications (ALLT), Axis Network Technology (acquired by Ace Technology), Cogent Communications (COGT), Dune Networks (acquired by Broadcom), Native Networks (acquired by Alcatel), Storwize (acquired by IBM), and Traffix (acquired by F5).
Adam is researching his family history with MyHeritage and has built a family tree with more than 2500 individuals. Uniquely combining a personal interest in genealogy with an impressive international investment record, Adam adds rare strategic insight as a Board Member and Investor at MyHeritage. Adam is happily married with two small children.
David Sacks has been involved in the internet industry for over a decade as an entrepreneur, executive and investor. From 1999-2002, David was PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer and product leader, taking the company from startup to IPO and eventual sale to eBay for $1.5 billion. Subsequently, David founded Geni.com, where he pioneered a new form of collaborative family history with the invention of The World Family Tree. Geni was acquired by MyHeritage in 2012. Most recently, David founded Yammer, the enterprise social network, which was acquired by Microsoft in June 2012 for $1.2 billion. His contributions as a visionary in the family history field, combined with his sharp eye for product, make him a highly strategic addition to MyHeritage's board.
David has a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.
Saul is a Partner at Index Ventures and is also Founding Partner of The Accelerator Group. He currently sits on several boards including Lovefilm, GlassesDirect, Moo, Songkick, Snaptalent and Dopplr.
Saul brings over a decade of experience successfully building and exiting companies in the US and Europe as both an entrepreneur, seed investor and operator. Most recently he was the co-founder and original CEO at what is now Lovefilm International and part of the executive team at Skype.
Saul loves working with seed and early stage companies and is a passionate believer that Europe is only scratching the surface in terms of its potential for entrepreneurs to create great startups. To support this vision, last year he started Seedcamp and OpenCoffee Club, which is now in over 80 cities around the world.
He lives in London, dreams of Cape Town and Cochin and is happily married with two kids under two.
Bruce Golden is a long-standing investor in the U.S and Europe and has a deep appreciation for helping companies create category-defining businesses that span multiple countries. With a focus on internet companies and enterprise software, Bruce is passionate about working with entrepreneurs in transforming company vision to reality. His role as investor helped bring several companies to NASDAQ IPO , including comScore (SCOR), Qliktech (QLIK), Responsys (MKTG) and Support.com (SPRT). Bruce also led Accel's investment in Amobee (acquired by SingTel), Dapper (acquired by Yahoo), Exchange.com (acquired by Amazon.com) and many other successful companies. Prior to Accel, Bruce held executive marketing and sales positions at Illustra Information Technologies and Sun Microsystems.
Bruce is an active member of the World Economic Forum and is on the Selection Committee of the WEF Technology Pioneers Programme. He was named by Forbes in their 2011 and 2012 Midas list of the top 100 venture investors.
Aviv Raiz is a member of the Israeli business community and is the lead investor behind several successful startups. Mr. Raiz is the president and sole owner of Eurotrust Ltd., a well known foreign exchange company which has some of Israel's foremost companies as its clients. For the past 10 years Mr. Raiz has invested in several high tech, biotech and real-estate companies, vastly diversifying his investment interests.
Mr. Raiz holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from the Tel Aviv University and an MBA in Finance.
Yuval Rakavy is a technology guru of renown in the Israeli hi-tech industry.
Mr. Rakavy served as Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at BRM Technologies. For over a decade, he played a central role in the R&D and product architecture of Check Point Software Technologies, BackWeb Technologies and numerous other startup companies.
Mr. Rakavy is particularly effective in identifying cutting edge development tools and integrating them into a company's technological plan at an early stage. His creativity is matched by his uncanny sensitivity to the technological needs of startup companies.
Mr. Rakavy studied Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Advisory Board Member
Craig Sherman is a Managing Director at Meritech Capital Partners, a leading late-stage venture capital firm.
Previously, Mr. Sherman was the CEO of Gaia Online, the anime roleplaying community, and beforehand he served as COO of MyFamily.com, where he helped grow the company from $23 Million to $150 Million in sales. During his tenure, Craig helped re-focus the company on its consumer subscription business and grew that from 200,000 to over 2 million subscribers, taking the company from significant losses to profitability. He joined MyFamily.com through the company's acquisition of ThirdAge Media where he was Executive Vice-President and General Manager.
Mr. Sherman has also held senior management positions worldwide. As Regional Vice-President of American International Group (AIG), Mr. Sherman ran AIG's marketing and e-business efforts in Japan and Korea resulting in over six billion dollars in annual revenues. He also quintupled the growth rate of his division and managed Japan's number one insurance website.
Prior to his work at AIG, Mr. Sherman was President and CEO of Cendant Japan where he launched the joint venture company, grew it to 500,000 paying customers and achieved operating profits ahead of schedule.
Mr. Sherman graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.