Our leadership team

Sascha Konietzke

Co-Founder & CEO
His fondness for programming helped Sascha land his first job at the age of 15, working as a webmaster for a VC-funded hardware startup Vircinity. In 2005, Sascha joined Hewlett-Packard where he was quickly recognized for spotting promising technologies and taking an entrepreneurial approach to day-to-day projects. After leaving HP in 2008, Sascha travelled extensively and founded Tagcrumbs, a geo-location based bookmarking service. In 2011, he started working on a publishing platform which went on to become Contentful. Sascha holds a degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Cooperative Education in Stuttgart.

Paolo Negri

Co-Founder & CTO
In 2006, Paolo left native Milan for London to be a part of the cloud revolution. He led the bid management development team at Forward, one of the fastest growing companies in the UK at the time, and later helped to scale the website of Autoscout24, the largest European car search engine. In 2010, Paolo joined the social gaming company Wooga, where he resolved Wooga's massive scaling issues and oversaw a 10X traffic growth spurt over his 2-year tenure. In 2012, Paolo met Sascha and founded Contentful. Paolo holds an Engineering Management degree from the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Chris Schagen

Chief Marketing Officer
Chris started his entrepreneurial journey as a founder and CEO of Mundwerk, a voice-activated application startup later acquired by Excelsis. Then he joined Verisign and brought its mobile content acquisition Jamba to the US market. Returning to Germany in 2006, he founded and led marketing service agency Linklift and was a member of the founding team at Wooga, the social gaming company behind Futurama, Perl's Peril, and Jelly Splash. Chris holds an MBA degree from WHU Otto-Beisheim School of Management.

Markus Harder

CFO
During his student days, Markus channeled his love for tech by founding an IT consultancy. Passionate about data, hard problems and finance, he then went into investment banking with Morgan Stanley. After taking time off to obtain a PhD at Cambridge's Judge Business School, he continued honing his management skills at Zalando, where he has built up the UK business, was MD for Zalando Ltd, and later became the CFO of Zalando's operations entities. Before joining Contentful, Markus was a VP of Finance and IT at SoundCloud, the world’s leading audio platform. Markus holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from WHU Otto-Beisheim School of Management.

Vanessa MacIlwaine

VP, PEOPLE
Vanessa has more than 20 years of experience in human resources. As a dual-national with a passion for global business, she launched her career by joining the exploration division of BHP Minerals, a 70,000-person Australian mining company. She went on to work for Lucasfilm, Williams-Sonoma, and Lending Club, in a variety of people-focused leadership roles, focusing on growth and expansion. Vanessa leads Contentful’s global People and Workplace functions. She hold a BA in Psychology from the University of Washington.

Ed Medak

VP, Sales
Ed started his career in commercial insurance working on financial service products and transitioned into SaaS technology sales. Before joining Contentful, he worked for Salesforce, Jive, Box, and Databricks. In the decade of selling SaaS products, Ed has overseen all aspects of B2B sales and comes to Contentful with a track record for identifying, implementing, and expanding new revenue channels. Ed holds a degree in Finance from Santa Clara University. Rumoured to be a track and field champion, he has also won the title of the fastest Contentfulero in 2017.

Saood Shah

VP, Customer Success
With degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Saood started his career at Sun Microsystems writing code for the Solaris 8 kernel. Feeling a customer-sized hole in his professional life, he took on technical professional services roles at RSA Security and Siebel Systems — and never looked back. Over the last 20 years, Saood has built customer success teams in high-growth environments focused on time-to-value, retention, expansion and delivering customer outcomes. When he’s not fine-tuning his CS methodologies, he can be found at the beach or on the snow with his wife and two boys.

Kevin Zellmer

VP, Partnerships
Kevin has been at the forefront of internet growth since the early days — from the beginnings of ecommerce, to the launch of social media. At Contentful, he is responsible for developing, implementing and managing Contentful's global partnership program, to enable our customers and partners to achieve their goals. Prior to joining Contentful, Kevin held a number of executive-level positions at companies such as Hootsuite, Hearsay Systems, Cisco and Beyond.com. Kevin holds a BA from the University of California, Davis.

Our board of directors

We’re proud to be supported by these smart and experienced partners

Suranga Chandratillake

General Partner at Balderton Capital
Starting as an engineer at Autonomy Corporation R&D team, Suranga went on to become the company's CTO for the US market. In 2004, Suranga founded Blinkx, a video and audio search engine. As a CEO, he built a profitable business and took the company public on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. Since 2015 Suranga is a General Partner at Balderton Capital, one of Europe's leading early stage technology venture capital firms with over $2.5B under management. Suranga holds an MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Christoph Janz

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Point Nine Capital
Early in his career, Christoph has co-founded two successful startups: Dealpilot.com in 1997, which was later acquired by Shopping.com, and Pageflakes in 2005, later acquired by LiveUniverse. In 2008, he became an angel investor specializing in the field of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and along the way discovered companies like Zendesk, Clio, FreeAgent, and Propertybase. Building on his string of successes, in 2011 Christoph co-founded Point Nine Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm with an emphasis on SaaS companies. To date, Christoph has invested in more than 20 startups.

Trevor Oelschig

Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners
Trevor Oelschig is a managing director at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm with approximately $3.75 billion in total capital raised. Working from the firm’s West Coast offices, Trevor’s investment focus lies in the application layer with an emphasis on companies with a developer-first approach. Before joining General Catalyst, Trevor spent nine years on the investment team at Bessemer Venture Partners. Trevor earned a BS in industrial engineering at UC Berkeley, an MS in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University and holds an MBA from The Wharton School.

Eric Vishria

General Partner at Benchmark
Eric Vishria is a general partner at Benchmark, where he focuses on early stage startup investing, especially in infrastructure and enterprise software. Eric brings a long and varied background as an executive in technology startups (Loudcloud, Opsware, RockMelt) and public companies (HP, Yahoo), including consumer and enterprise, and across a range of functions including product, marketing and operations.

Andreas Weiskam

Co-founder, Sapphire Ventures
Andreas is a co-founder and managing director of Sapphire Ventures. He serves as a board director or observer at Contentful, CurrencyCloud, Matillion, Retail Solutions, and Wandera. Prior to Sapphire Ventures, Andreas held business development roles at SAP, co-developing the SAP enterprise services community and leading reseller partnerships with Virsa Systems and Mercury Interactive among others. Before SAP, he co-founded Zadu, a venture-backed instant messaging startup. Andreas holds a Diplom-Kaufmann (graduate business degree) from the University of Hamburg, Germany and an MLitt with distinction in management, economics and politics from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

For the curious

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