Ex-Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs Becomes AVG Chief

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Kovacs joins the security industry but choice of AV company may baffle some

Departing  Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs is making the move over to the security industry, joining AVG as its new leader.

He will replace JR Smith, who left the company four months ago for unknown reasons. AVG operating officer John Giammatteo had been guiding the ship since then.

AVG’s latest signing

AVG Ragged patches Logo“We know that there are over two and a half billion people online and we anticipate another two and a half billion people coming online in the next five years,” Kovacs said.

“With all these people online there is going to be an increasing urgency to secure them.

“I have dedicated my last three years to that pursuit and with AVG building products that simplify and secure users’ digital lives, it is a natural fit.”

Kovacs has previously had senior roles at Sybase, which was acquired by SAP, and Adobe. He also  co-founded Zi Corporation, a company specialising in predictive text that was acquired by Nuance in 2009.

He joined Mozilla in November 2010,  replacing its second CEO John Lilly.

It was unknown why he wanted to leave the Firefox maker, as announced in April, but it appears he was keen for a fresh challenge.

Some might be baffled by his decision to join an anti-virus seller, however, given the criticism AV products have faced in recent years for failing to pick up on the majority of malware.

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