Gary Kovacs

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Gary Kovacs
Gary Kovacs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China, 2012..jpg
Kovacs at the 2012 World Economic Forum
Born1963/1964 (age 55–56)[1]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ResidencePiedmont, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business
OccupationChief Executive Officer of AVG Technologies

Gary Kovacs (born 1963 or 1964)[1] is a San Francisco Bay Area technologist.[2][3] He was the Chief Executive Officer of AVG Technologies. Kovacs has worked for Mozilla Corporation, Adobe, SAP, and IBM,[4] and led Zi Corporation, a mobile text messaging company.[5]

Early life[edit]

Kovacs was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Ruby (né Kiraly) and Janos (John) Kovacs. Kovacs's father was a Hungarian refugee who fled to Canada in 1956.[5]

Kovacs attended the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business, earning a BComm in 1990 and an MBA in 1999.[6]


Kovacs spent more than 25 years in software and mobile technology. In addition to his undergraduate and graduate business degrees, Kovacs is a certified communications electronics technologist.[7]

Kovacs joined IBM in 1990, where he held leadership positions in product management, sales, marketing, and operations, eventually serving as Worldwide Program Director for the software division, based in New York.[8][9]

After 10 years at IBM, Kovacs became President of Zi Corporation, a company that pioneered predictive text, among other mobile search and text input solutions.[5][10] From 2000 to 2003, he helmed the company’s successful creation and growth and provided strategic direction for its worldwide expansion.[9]

Kovacs moved to Macromedia in 2003, working as Vice President of Product Marketing. When Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005, Kovacs became Vice President and General Manager of Product Management and Marketing for Adobe’s mobile and devices division,[9] rising to General Manager of the entire division in 2008.[11]

From 2009 to 2010, Kovacs served as Senior Vice President of Markets, Solutions, and Products at Sybase, through its acquisition by SAP.[9]

After an extensive search for a new CEO in 2010, Mozilla selected Kovacs to replace former CEO John Lilly. Kovacs led the overall direction of the organization and the Firefox web browser.[9]

During Kovacs' tenure Mozilla expanded into the mobile market with the launch of Firefox OS, its open mobile operating system.[12] Kovacs previewed Firefox OS at Mobile World Congress 2013, garnering commitments from 18 major worldwide mobile operators.[13]

In 2012, Kovacs negotiated a reported $1 billion deal renewing Mozilla’s agreement to make Google the default search engine in Firefox.[14]

Most notably, Firefox now offers Collusion, an add-on that enables users to view all third parties tracking their online activity, and in turn, to make more informed decisions about being tracked.[15] The Ponemon Institute named Mozilla the "Most Trusted Internet Company For Privacy" for 2012.[16]

Kovacs is a frequent public speaker and panel member. His 2012 TED talk "Tracking the Trackers" explores issues of Internet privacy in an increasingly connected world.[17] At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2012, he presented on strategies for creating a resilient cyber economy amid economic, security, and privacy obstacles.[18] He was a keynote speaker at the Mobile World Congress 2013.[19]

Fierce Wireless named Kovacs one of the Rising Stars in Wireless for 2013.[20]

On April 2013 Mozilla announced that he would step down as CEO of the corporation later that year[21] and until March 2014 he was part of Mozilla's board of directors.[22]

On July 30, 2013, Kovacs joined[23] AVG Technologies as CEO. In September 2016, AVG Technologies was acquired by Avast Software for US$1.3B. [24] Kovacs employment with AVG Technologies was terminated in December 2016 upon completion of the acquisition. [25]

On Dec. 11, 2018, Kovacs was appointed as CEO[26] of Accela [27]. Accela, which supplies regulatory software to government clients, was acquired by Berkshire Partners LLC[28], on Sep 28, 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Raised by Hungarian parents in Toronto, Kovacs began experimenting with technology at a young age. Though grateful for the opportunities and education provided by his native Canada, his interest in innovation drew him to the San Francisco Bay Area.[5]

He now lives in Piedmont, California.[29]


  1. ^ a b van Wageningen, Ellen (31 January 2014). "Web's impact 'mind-boggling,' leadership forum told". The Windsor Star. Kovacs, 50
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Alec, Scott. "Lessons from Canada's Silicon Valley diaspora.” The Globe and Mail. Published 23 February 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  4. ^ Prior, Shannon. "Introducing our new CEO: Gary Kovacs." Mozilla Blog. Published 14 October 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Alec 2012.
  6. ^ “Keep in touch.” U Magazine. Published May 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ “Electronics analysis: Gary Kovacs – Zi Corporation.” The Wall Street Transcript. Published 11 February 2002. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  8. ^ The Wall Street Transcript 2002.
  9. ^ a b c d e Prior 2010.
  10. ^ “Nuance to acquire Zi Corporation.” Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine Published 26 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  11. ^ von Fuchs, Teresa. "Adobe announces restructuring." Wireless Week. Published 8 April 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  12. ^ Moody, Glyn. “Mozilla’s big comeback.” Archived 2012-11-16 at the Wayback Machine Computer World UK. Published 14 November 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  13. ^ Mozilla Press Center. "Mozilla Announces Global Expansion for Firefox OS." Mozilla Blog. Published 24 February 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  14. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. “Firefox hits the jackpot with almost billion dollar Google deal.” ZDNet. Published 22 December 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  15. ^ “Introducing Collusion.” Mozilla. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  16. ^ Smith, Dave. “Firefox maker Mozilla named ‘Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy’ in 2012.” International Business Times. Published 29 January 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  17. ^ Kovacs, Gary. “Gary Kovacs: tracking the trackers” [video file]. TED. Published February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  18. ^ “Creating a resilient cyber economy.” World Economic Forum. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  19. ^ “Keynote speakers.” Mobile World Congress 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  20. ^ Marek, Sue. “Meet the rising stars in wireless of 2013.” Fierce Wireless. Published 12 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  21. ^ "Mozilla Makes Leadership Changes: CEO Gary Kovacs To Step Down Later This Year, Mitchell Baker Becomes Executive Chair". TechCrunch.
  22. ^ "Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO". Retrieved 204-03-28. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ “Avast and AVG become one” Avast Blog. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  25. ^ “Former AVG Technologies USA Inc. CEO alleges he was wrongfully terminated.” Norcal Record. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Accela Announces Experienced Technology Leader Gary Kovacs as CEO". Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  27. ^ "Accela Announces Experienced Technology Leader Gary Kovacs as CEO". Accela. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  28. ^ "Accela gets acquired by Berkshire Partners as it looks to move govtech services to the cloud". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  29. ^ “Gary Kovacs.” Retrieved 7 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
John Lilly
CEO of Mozilla Corporation
8 November 2010 – March 2014
Succeeded by
Brendan Eich