About Us

High Gear Media is a next-generation automotive publisher that connects car-seeking audiences with content and tools to help them make better decisions.

We bring together a powerful content platform, deep editorial expertise that understands how to publish for today’s Web, and three of the fastest growing automotive media brands online.

Our executives have a track record building web experiences at companies like Yahoo!, Sidestep, Farechase, Google and Auto Trader.

High Gear Media is headquartered in Menlo Park, California and received its funding from Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and DAG Ventures.

Management Team

Matthew Heist, CEO

Matthew Heist  is responsible for day-to-day operations as well as general corporate strategy. Prior to joining High Gear Media, Heist was senior vice president and general manager of Sidestep.com, where he was responsible for the company’s core vertical search product. Sidestep was acquired by Kayak in December 2007. Prior to Sidestep, Heist was vice president of business operations at Yahoo!, responsible for driving strategy and operations for Yahoo’s vertical search and commerce listings properties, including Yahoo Autos, Shopping, Travel, Real Estate and Local.

Jeff Birkeland, VP of Product

Jeff Birkeland leads product development at High Gear Media. Previously, Jeff was senior director of product in Yahoo!’s Media Group, leading product teams building such properties as Health, Tech, Food and Yahoo! Shine. Prior to that he spent four years leading product management for Yahoo! News, the world’s largest news site. In a past life, Jeff used to produce television.

Yacine Filali, VP of Engineering

Yacine Filali leads High Gear Media’s engineering team and is responsible for software development, implementation and management across all of HGM’s applications and services. Yacine joined the company in 2009 and was previously at Winbond Electronics Corporation (and its spinoff Nuvoton) and before that was at iDini Corp.

Eugene Lee, VP Business Development and Revenue

Eugene Lee leads the business development and business operations team which is responsible for revenue, business development, online marketing and finance related initiatives. Previously, Eugene was part of Yahoo’s Business Operations team focusing on Yahoo Local. Prior to that, Eugene was an M&A banker at both ThinkEquity Partners and Deutsche Bank.

Marty Padgett, Editorial Director

Marty Padgett is High Gear Media’s Editorial Director, overseeing the words that skim across High Gear Media’s portfolio of automotive destinations. Marty is a native of Washington, D.C., an honors graduate of Duke University, and a former editor at Car and Driver. Marty is a 20-year veteran journalist, with other writing credits at AutoTrader, Stuff, Outside and BusinessWeek. In addition to his work at High Gear Media, Marty is a juror for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards and is the author of three books. While you’re reading this, he’s on a computer or his iPhone to keep track of what’s going on in the car world.