Nimrod Kovacs

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Nimrod Kovacs (born October 27, 1949), after finishing his master's degree, started out as an ad man on Madison Avenue, continued on as a cable guy in Denver, worked around the world setting up and managing cable, media and telecom businesses, until retiring to his native city of Budapest.[1] Now he spends his time as an investor, philanthropist and wine producer.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Nimrod Kovacs was born October 27, 1949, in Budapest, Hungary. In 1971 he escaped from Hungary by swimming from the current day Slovenia to Italy.[3] After spending months in various refugee camps in Italy, he arrived in the US in 1972. He worked as a dishwasher at a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he eventually became a waiter. After moving to Colorado, while supporting himself as a waiter, he learned enough English to enroll in the (University of Colorado). He graduated in 1976.[4] After graduation, he enrolled in the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona. Here he received a Masters of International Management degree. He went on to spend the summer of 1987 at Stanford Business school to learn about successful organizations.


From Phoenix, Arizona, he moved to New York City to join Doyle Dane Bernbach advertising agency in September 1977, where he worked on the American Airlines and Hershey Foods account. In 1979 Nimrod joined Grey Advertising where he worked on the General Foods business, followed by a stint at Wells Rich and Greene where he worked on the Ralston, Alka Selzer and the New York State businesses.[5]

In 1982, Kovacs moved to Colorado to become the Marketing director for United Cable Television Corporation from where he was quickly promoted to head the Marketing and Programming department.[6] During this time, he had the opportunity to help develop several TV channels including The Discovery Channel, E entertainment and QVC. Upon the sale of United to Tele-Communications Inc., Nimrod became a partner with the Schneiders in United International Holdings Inc. (UIH) and together focused on cable TV greenfield investments, mostly in Europe. One of these investments was a joint venture between UIH, Time Warner and US West, called Kabelkom,[7] which developed modern cable systems in Hungary while introducing HBO and Spektrum TV. Nimrod then was actively involved in the formation of another joint venture with Phillips called UPC.[8] This company, under Nimrod's leadership became the largest Cable TV operation in Central and Eastern Europe with 3 million customers encompassing Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania. Aside from his corporate responsibilities Nimrod has been a founding Board member of CTAM (Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing) which he also brought to Europe. In 2009 Nimrod retired from the corporate world focusing on his longtime passion, wines and now managing his winery in Eger, Hungary.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Nimrod Kovacs aside from wines and food, enjoys collecting art, including 19th century Hungarian paintings and 20th century international and Hungarian artifacts.[10] He is also involved in a number of charities and spiritual groups including the World Servers Foundation. In 2005 he became a Knight of Hungary.[11] Nimrod has 3 children: Tash, Briana and Hunter.