High Gear Media Hires Matt Heist as COO

High Gear Media, formerly known as the Car Advisory Network, today announced it has hired Matthew Heist as chief operating officer and named Rob Solomon to its board of directors.

As COO, Matt Heist, 40, will be responsible for sales and marketing efforts as well as day-to-day operations. 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.

Rob Solomon, High Gear Media newest board member, is the former CEO of Sidestep.com and general manager of Yahoo Shopping. He joins current board members Accel Partner Andrew Braccia, Greylock Partner James Slavet, and Hesky Kutscher, the CEO and co-founder of High Gear Media.

“This is the right time to invest in an all-star team with a successful track record building Internet businesses,” said High Gear Media CEO Hesky
Kutscher. “More and more users are discovering TheCarConnection.com and we have ambitious plans for expansion. We are thrilled to have Matt and Rob on board.”

High Gear Media is a next generation media company building a network of owned-and-operated websites targeting car buying audiences by vehicle and lifestyle market segments. Its first website, TheCarConnection.com, gathers the best automotive reviews and articles from around the web and adds its expert editors’ analysis and advice to help car buyers select the right car. High Gear Media is based in Palo Alto, Calif. and received its Series A funding from Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.

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