I launched my first startup in 1989 - building an online shop system for bookstores - in the pre-Internet era when 9600 bit/s was fast. We successfully sold the business in 1995, after growing it for 6 years. But that startup was just the beginning.
Since then, my passion for algorithms, data, and software led me to start two more business ventures, while at the same time completing four academic degrees and working for several large corporations.
As an academic, I contributed to a range of optimisation solutions in logistics, mobility, and transportation, designed to save money, time, or both. I published 13 papers and 2 theses, and filed several dozen patents in the field of discrete optimisation and operations research. Google Scholar currently shows >1K citations for my work.
On the business side, I finished 13 years with TomTom. Within 5 years of joining, I reached the highest level on the technical career ladder: 'TomTom Fellow' - the equivalent of Amazon's Distinguished Engineer. Appointment as a 'Fellow' is at the discretion of the TomTom management board, and is awarded based solely on individual achievement. I contributed to TomTom’s unique product portfolio in a variety of engineering, product, and people management positions. In my last role, I built up a 400+ person Navigation Product Unit to deliver the software components (micro-services, SDKs, and apps) for TomTom products used by several hundred million people every day. By the time I left the company, my team had achieved a market-leading share of both Automotive and Consumer business. And TomTom had become a company with 600 million monthly active customers for its navigation technology products and 1 billion Euros annual top-line revenue.
In 2020, I joined Amazon. We did our bit to fight COVID-19 by making sure that people across the globe could still get essential goods delivered home during these challenging times.
In 2022, my journey continues as I join Stellantis to build affordable, zero-emission mobility at scale by leading all of Stellantis’ software and AI development across our 14 unique car brands.
I grew up in East Germany (first Thuringia, then Berlin) and have lived and/or worked in 14 different countries across Europe, Asia, and Americas. Together with my wife Michaela, a Corpus linguistics professor at the University of Birmingham, UK, and our son Richard, we currently live in Cologne, DE.