About us

Akeneo: noun., Comes from the word "akene", the dry fruit produced by the dandelion: a light and elegant way for a flower to propagate its seeds. An inspiration for how we built our PIM.

Our story

Our team has been working in the e-commerce industry for over 10 years. As we were helping brands to grow their online businesses, we realized that they were all struggling with complex or archaic systems to manage product information.

We founded Akeneo in 2013 with the idea that products are the most important assets in a company and that many merchants lack a tool to help them manage and leverage this crucial asset. Merchants needed a tool that was designed for marketers and flexible enough to be integrated with any third-party application.

Executive Team

  • Fred de Gombert

    CEO / Co-Founder

    Prior to founding Akeneo, Fred was the e-commerce director at Smile, the largest open source system integrator in Europe. Since then, he has become a proven expert in e-business and open source having helped some of the largest retailers in the world (Chantelle, The North Face, Nestlé, Decathlon, etc.) build their e-commerce strategy.

    When not leading the world’s most open and generally awesome PIM, Fred can be found exercising his passion for improv theater. And he loves David Bowie. Don’t say anything bad about David.

  • Benoit Jacquemont

    CTO / Co-Founder

    Prior to founding Akeneo, Benoit was the CTO for Smile, the largest open source system integrator in Europe.
    He is an expert in complex web applications, having spent the last 5 years managing a team of 450+ open source developers and launching some of the largest European websites.

    In his time outside the office, Benoit shares with us his passion of building and flying model airplanes in our park. We tried. Some of them are still stuck in the trees.

  • Nicolas Dupont

    VP of Engineering / Co-Founder

    Prior to founding Akeneo, Nicolas was the technical manager for MyStore.ch, one of the largest private sales companies in Switzerland.
    Nicolas has many years of experience and a deep understanding of how to handle large and complex catalogs. In addition, he has an extensive knowledge base in integrating e-commerce applications with third-party applications like ERPs.

    Nicolas is also the master of the subtle arts of cooking exotic meals.

  • Thierry Fortin

    Chief Financial Officer

    Thierry Fortin is a financial executive with more than 15 years of experience managing corporate finance, audits, and mergers and acquisitions for high-tech companies.

    Prior to joining Akeneo, Thierry served as a finance director at several NASDAQ listed software companies, including ANSYS, a leading simulation product engineering company. He began his career as an external financial auditor at Arthur Andersen.

  • Samuel Augy

    Vice President of Operations

    Samuel brings 15 years of experience in e-business to Akeneo.

    Prior to joining Akeneo in 2016, he managed an integration company specializing in e-commerce and CRM and led successful product launches. At Akeneo, Samuel is responsible for operational strategy including Customer Success Management, Professional Services, Technology Partners and Internal Projects.

    An avid cyclist, Samuel is a domotics enthusiast – both in the planning (and maintenance) of his smart home devices.

  • Sébastien Lieutaud

    Vice President of Global Channel Development

    Sébastien has been working in, and advocating for, the open-source community since 1998. After beginning his career in international business development, Sébastien has helped multiple start-ups (Opentrust.com, iObeya.com, Archivite.com) get their first national and international successes.

    Sébastien joined Akeneo as the first sales person in Spring 2014 and was instrumental in growing sales operations internationally. He opened the US office in 2016 and is now concentrating on the development of Akeneo partners and alliances around the world.

    Sébastien is passionate about people and places, and when he has time, he enjoys traveling the world. He has visited more than 70 countries, from Denmark to Australia, and can’t wait to keep exploring.

  • Johan Benoualid

    Vice President of Sales and Alliances

    Johan Benoualid carries more than 15 years of experience helping category-leading technology companies drive growth and market adoption.

    Prior to joining Akeneo, Johan served as South Europe managing director at Hootsuite, a leading social media management platform, where he was instrumental in driving the company’s expansion across France, Spain, and Italy. Before Hootsuite, Johan worked at Adobe, where he helped the software giant increase market penetration of its industry-leading martech products.

    Outside of work, Johan is a travel aficionado who navigated the world with his family in the early 2010s.

  • Mike Bender

    Vice President of Sales, North America

    Mike Bender is the North America VP of Sales at Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management (PXM) solutions for merchants and brands. Mike is an accomplished B2B SaaS sales executive who is widely known for driving revenue growth, building top-performing sales teams, and launching new markets.

    Prior to joining Akeneo, Mike served as VP of Sales at eCommerce acceleration platform Yottaa, where he quadrupled the company’s enterprise revenue volume and sales team size in less than two years. He also held senior sales leadership positions at mobile marketing technology company Fiksu, as well as Prospectiv and Autotrader.

    When not at work, Mike enjoys backpacking and camping with his wife and 2 children.

  • Christel Grizaut Billault

    Vice President of Marketing

    Christel Grizaut Billault is an accomplished marketing executive with 20 years of experience and a successful track record in creating powerful integrated marketing strategies for Fortune 1000 companies.

    Prior to joining Akeneo, Christel held multiple senior marketing positions at Acronis, a leading hybrid cloud data protection company. Before that, she managed the corporate marketing and communications programs for global technology companies that included Altiris, a Symantec company, Tripwire, and Baltimore Technologies.

    When not at work, Christel enjoys trekking in exotic places, reading and spending time with her six-year-old son, Nicolas.

  • Emilie Gieler

    Head of Product

    Emilie brings 10+ years of experience in B2B software management to Akeneo.

    Before joining Akeneo in 2013, Emilie was a product manager managing product development for a variety of small – large enterprises. At Amadeus in Europe, she led the travel booking platform for all online solutions. Across her career, Emilie has focused on delivering value through user data, from her early days taking products she directly developed to market, to her current role leading the Akeneo product development team.

  • Tobias Schlotter

    Akeneo GmbH General Manager

    Before Tobias joined Akeneo, he headed the national sales department for a medium-sized IT systems integrator in Osnabrück.

    He joined our team in 2015 and had quick success, convincing numerous partners to join Akeneo. He has succeeded in launching ambitious projects for various companies such as the German Veterinary Association, Puky, Siroop, Remmers, Sanicare or ZEG, and has continuously inspired Akeneo customers. He is currently building the team at our Düsseldorf location, for the DACH region.

    Tobias has a passion for both scuba diving and driving ridiculously fast.

  • Valérie Desbordes

    Sales Director Southern Europe & Latam

    With more than ten years of sales experience for global software companies such as Adobe and SAS Institute Inc., Valérie specializes in the sale of value-added marketing solutions.

    She joined Akeneo in 2014. She built a team and brilliantly developed sales in the French region, contributing actively to the company’s success in its original market.

    Based on this valuable experience, Valérie uses now her expertise to build and manage a successful sales team across Southern Europe and LATAM regions.


  • Yoav Kutner

    Advisor / Co-Founder

    Yoav is the Co-Founder and CTO of Oro Inc, the open source CRM made for e-commerce.

    Prior to founding Oro, he was the CTO and Co-Founder of Magento, where he led product and technology development for all Magento offerings from inception until after it’s acquisition by eBay, Inc. in 2011.

    Legends says he used to play in metal band, and that he used to have an inline skating park in his living room. No one ever got the chance to verify.

  • Roy Rubin


    Roy is the co-founder and former CEO of Magento, the world leader in e-commerce platforms.

    In August, 2011, Magento was acquired by eBay, Inc., where Roy became a vice president. He continued to lead the Magento business until his departure from eBay in May, 2014.

  • Marc Palazon

    Board Member

    Marc graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines with a Masters degree in international relations. Right after graduation he worked abroad at the Ukraine foreign office.

    He eventually joined Smile in 2000 and was a successful project manager, project director, and sales director, and CEO since 2007. Smile is the European leader of open digital transformation and open source solutions integration, with more than 1000 employees in 9 countries.

    Marc is also an active member of the IT & open source ecosystem as an administrator of the Syntec Numérique, president of the open source committee, and board member of Sensiolabs (Symfony creator).

  • Jeremy Uzan

    Board Member

    Jeremy Uzan is a Partner at Alven Capital and focuses on high potential startups founded by talented French entrepreneurs.

    He currently works with entrepreneurs at Drivy, Frichti, OpenClassrooms, happn, iAdvize and of course Akeneo. He has also supported investments in Captain Train (acquired by Trainline), Bime Analytics (acquired by Zendesk), Mobpartner (acquired by Cheetah Mobile) and Joliebox (acquired by Birchbox). Prior to Alven, Jeremy was an investment banker at Clipperton Finance, a Corporate Finance boutique focused on the fast growth tech companies in Europe.

    He holds a Master in Computer Sciences and a Master in Finance. He currently lives in Paris, France.

  • Reza Malekzadeh

    Board Member

    Reza is a general partner at Partech Ventures, primarily focused on the infrastructure, datacenter and enterprise markets. He has built his career and reputation by joining early stage ventures and leading them to a successful exits as well as by working in large groups to help their transition to new business models.

    Reza started his career as employee #10 at VMware, and left the team to create his company, Twingo Systems, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2004. Then, Reza joined Akimbi Systems which was acquired by VMware in 2006, where Reza then served as Head of Products & Marketing. Eager to reunite with early stage companies, Reza joined Nimbula, a provider of private cloud infrastructure management software, as VP of Sales and Marketing. Nimbula was successfully acquired by Oracle in 2013.

    Between his time at Nimbula and Partech, Reza was head of Marketing at Cumulus Networks, a company that designs and sells Linux operating systems for networking hardware.

  • Stephan Dietrich


    Stephan Dietrich is a serial entrepreneur and investor with 25 years of experience in enterprise software and a strong operational track record of growing and scaling start-ups all the way to successful exits.

    In 2013, he sold his last brainchild Neolane to Adobe for $600M, a 10x multiple on revenue. He stayed at Adobe until early 2018 as a GM of his business and grew it at a 40% CAGR over those 4 years.

    Stephan is now Executive in Residence for General Catalyst, a tier 1 US Venture Firm with over $6Bn under management. He brings his skill set and experience to high growth SaaS companies as an advisor, independent director and investor. He specializes in helping European enterprise software firms land, scale and successfully exit in the USA.