Gary Kovacs

Gary Kovacs | 2015 AACSB Influential Leader

Gary  Kovacs

CEO and Managing Director of the Management Board

Honoree Year: 2015

Alma Mater:

University of Calgary

Haskayne School of Business


Area of Impact:


Gary Kovacs is a San Francisco Bay area technology trailblazer. In 2013, he was appointed CEO of AVG Technologies, a leader in delivering security software and services to over 200 million users worldwide.

Prior to his work at AVG, Kovacs’ career achievement in becoming CEO of Mozilla Corporation (2010) set him apart as one of the top five influencers of the Internet. The Firefox browser, used by more than 500 million global consumers, was developed under his direction. Early in his time at Mozilla, Kovacs was asked to be part of a group of technology and business leaders that met with representatives from President Obama’s office to discuss pressing issues on privacy and security on the Internet.  He continues his active leadership and involvement in global Internet and privacy policy throughout Europe and North America.

Prior to Mozilla, Kovacs held senior leadership and innovation roles at SAP (senior VP, markets, solutions and products) and Adobe Systems (general manager, mobile & devices), where he led the development and delivery of Adobe technology on over 1 billion devices worldwide. He also led the successful creation and growth of Zi Corporation, a groundbreaking mobile text messaging pioneer. He spent 10 years at IBM in global leadership roles that included systems engineering, product management, product marketing, and sales leadership in Canada and IBM worldwide headquarters in New York.

Kovacs then took his mobile expertise to Macromedia, working as vice president of product marketing. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, Kovacs became vice president and general manager of product management and marketing for Adobe’s mobile and devices division, rising to general manager of the entire division in 2008.

Public response to Kovacs’ emphatic and passionate keynote addresses demonstrates Kovacs’ ability to stimulate social change. His 2012 TED Talk, “Tracking the Trackers,” explores issues of Internet privacy in an increasingly connected world. With 2,750,000 views, the talk is one of the top 50 most viewed TED Talks of all time.

Kovacs received a similar response at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2012, where he presented on strategies for creating a resilient cyber economy amid economic, security, and privacy obstacles. He continues to be recognized as a global icon; he was asked to speak at the Mobile World Congress 2013 and 2014, where he delivered the opening keynote on day two. He was named one of the Rising Stars in Wireless by Fierce Wireless that same year.

He remains a popular and frequent public speaker and has delivered keynote addresses at the Clinton Global Initiative, F.ounders, All Things Digital, Code/Re/Code, and Fortune Brainstorm, among many others. He is a board member for numerous technology companies and nonprofits, including Make-A-Wish (Greater Bay Area).

A passionate supporter of lifelong learning and post-secondary education, Kovacs sits as a member of the Haskayne School of Business Dean’s Management Advisory Council and returns to his alma mater frequently as a guest speaker, mentor, role model, and advisor.