Trustpilot founder Peter Holten Mühlmann to depart as CEO to be ‘brand ambassador’

Trustpilot founder to depart as CEO to become an ‘evangelist and brand ambassador’ for review website

  • Mühlmann will transition to becoming ‘an evangelist and brand ambassador’ 
  • The Danish entrepreneur began the e-commerce firm from his parents’ garage 
  • Trustpilot’s market cap has fallen by about two-thirds from its £1.1bn IPO value

Trustpilot’s founder has declared his intention to step back from his chief executive role as the company reported lower losses in its annual results.

Peter Holten Mühlmann will transition from being CEO of the online review website to a non-executive director, where he will be ‘an evangelist and brand ambassador,’ the group said.

The Danish entrepreneur started the e-commerce service 16 years ago from his parents’ garage and with funding from his father’s cousin, growing it into a major European technology success story.

Moving on: Trustpilot said founder Peter Holten Mühlmann (pictured) will transition from being CEO to ‘an evangelist and brand ambassador’ while also holding a non-executive directorship

Trustpilot Group shares were 0.3 per cent lower at 93.05p at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon. They have lost about 44 per cent of their value over the past 12 months. 

The firm makes money from charging companies fees for showing positive reviews on their homepage and subscribing to its software services, such as AI-generated analytics and website widgets.

Activity on its platform soared during the Covid-19 pandemic as online retail volumes grew amid harsh lockdown restrictions, driving demand for reviews.

Valued at about £1.1billion at its initial public offering in March 2021, when it became the first Danish tech unicorn to go public on the London Stock Exchange, the group’s market capitalisation has since slumped by around two-thirds.

IPO-related costs were responsible for Trustpilot’s annual losses doubling in 2021, but the company revealed on Tuesday that they fell by 43 per cent to $14.6million last year as revenue growth outpaced the increase in costs.

Sales increased by 23 per cent at constant currency levels to $149million, supported by double-digit expansion across all regions, including the UK, where it derives 40 per cent of its business.

Visitors posted another 46 million reviews on the firm’s platform, while the number of active domains surpassed the 100,000 mark and bookings, a major indicator of future turnover, rose by a fifth to $165million.

Trustpilot warned that the weaker economic backdrop had made it more cautious in its guidance, with lower revenues expected from in-period bookings this year, although it expects adjusted underlying earnings will turn a profit.

Chair-designate Zillah Byng-Thorne said Muhlmann was a ‘visionary entrepreneur’ who ‘will undoubtedly be a crucial asset to the company as it continues to grow, and as we continue to execute on our strategy.’

Muhlmann will remain as chief executive during the time Trustpilot searches for his successor in order to ensure a smooth transition.

He told investors: ‘Trustpilot is a fantastic business with an exciting, global market opportunity, and I am truly thrilled to have the chance to focus my efforts and skills on promoting our brand and helping to drive the Trust agenda around the world.

‘I have felt for some time that this is where I can make the greatest contribution and add the most value to Trustpilot in the years to come.’