Co-founder & CEO
Michael is the visionary co-founder of Adgo who is on a mission to help online merchants and platforms grow their revenue using artificial intelligence.
He is an entrepreneur who started out his career as a researcher at Bell Laboratories before moving to Salomon Brothers in New York in the early 90’s. Since then, Michael has worked in various technology and trading leadership roles at global investment banks with a key focus on trading automation.
He was also the Managing Director of electronic trading for Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital where he helped automate institutional stock trading using algorithms and machine learning.
Michael brought that same trading automation technology into the world of commerce by replicating it for a self service SNS advertising. The product is what you now see as Adgo, the artificial intelligence powered growth engine for commerce.
Responsible for building the core team to execute on the company’s vision, Michael has raised multiple successful rounds of seed funding and has made investors and partners alike take notice. He has developed adtech partners with multiple social media network companies including getting the Facebook Marketing Partner (FMP) badge, and approvals for Twitter and LINE adtech API partnerships.
Under his leadership, Adgo now has 20 employees serving over 40 customers across three regional offices (Tokyo, Singapore and Jakarta).
A seasoned advertising executive with 18 years of experience in various fields of the Digital Industry, Auke is the Chief Operations Officer at Adgo. He works with the leadership team to establish the company as the global technology partner of choice for commerce platforms, tech integrators and enablers.
Prior to Adgo, Auke was part of the GroupM APAC Trading Investment team. He headed the Supply business focusing on the set up, leadership and promotion of the overall programmatic supply strategy with trusted partners, client- and agency teams. He was also a member of the global GroupM Brand Safety Leadership team.
In his years at GroupM, Auke was the APAC Managing Director of Light Reaction, the multi-screen outcome-based business of Xaxis. He spearheaded the development and launch of Light Reaction’s local businesses and products in 11 APAC markets where it became a fully integrated part of Xaxis where it delivered significant successes and results to clients, and brought new knowledge, insights and experience that contributed commercial value to the wider group.
Before moving to APAC, Auke tapped into his years of experience in management and digital media, and commercial expertise to help Dutch companies like ‘Scoupy’ (as CCO a.i), Sanoma’s leading cashback/mobile shopper/brand activation platform to reposition its business successfully, and commercial broadcaster RTL’s video advertising network SpotX (as Managing Director a.i), to successfully turn their businesses for programmatic trading.
During his time with the European Directories (EDsa), Auke commercially led the Group’s Affiliate Marketing, Search and Social Media activities across 7 European markets. Auke held a dual role as CEO of Scoot Media, EDsa’s Performance Based Marketing specialist.
For European ‘AdLINK Media Group’, he launched the Dutch office of their Affiliate Marketing network ‘affilinet’ and headed leading display advertising network AdLINK Media in The Netherlands.
Auke enjoys active and adventurous sports like heli-boarding, trail running and fitness and competes in the APAC circuit of the Spartan obstacle course races.
Yasuhiro Fujiwara, also known to the team as ‘Fuji’, is the CFO for Adgo. Since leaving the brokerage industry, he has been involved in various investments and advisories of start-ups. His ability to head up the financial goals of Adgo comes from his 25 years of investment banking and capital markets industry experience in Asia Pacific Equities and Fixed Income markets covering a diverse portfolio of financial situations.
Before Adgo, Fuji’s most recent accomplishment in the financial industry was rebuilding Nomura’s Asia Ex-Japan Equity business when he was based in Hong Kong. His mandate was to review the business portfolio and turn Nomura’s Asian Equity business to profitability. Fuji also headed Global Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch APAC, holding roles which included Sales & Trading in Equity, Fixed Income, and Research and Capital Markets products. He has experience in hiring and managing a diverse team across geographies in Asia including India and Australia.
Fuji is also able to leverage his background and experience of having served various Board of Director and Executive Committee member positions in Bank of America and Nomura, and start-up companies particularly focused on governance and control, which greatly benefits Adgo.
Fuji is a golf maniac. However, driving Adgo to success makes it difficult for him to play golf – you might hear him making that excuse after hitting a poor score.
Brian de Heus
Brian de Heus is the Chief Technology Officer of Adgo.
As the pioneer technical employee in Tokyo, Brian does not only work hard on developing the Adgo technology that would become the growth engine for many e-commerce businesses and platforms, he also sources the best development and engineering talent to join his team.
Brian has since grown the technology team while continuing to provide technical guidance and strategy to them so that Adgo can continue to work towards its vision and mission with agility and quality.
Previously, Brian had worked as lead engineer for various startups, including an AI powered online language learning platform. He has also led front and back-end development of notable mobile gaming titles, filling leading roles for triple A games such as MLB: Full Deck in the United States and Sengoku Run in Japan.
Having worked in the banking, transport, and gaming industries, a government ministry, and finally starting his own company, Brian possesses extensive experience that he is always happy to share with those willing to learn.
Active in Tokyo’s startup culture, Brian advises and helps startups and larger companies with technical and HR related challenges, in addition to providing technical screening and due diligence in M&As. He often attends technical events and has hosted numerous technical and networking events.
When he is not developing something cool, Brian loves spending his time on photography. But other than being Adgo’s CTO, Brian is also known as the ‘Tokyo Hamburger Encyclopeadia’. If you want to know where to find the best burger in Tokyo, you know who to hit up.