John G. Schwarz
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, VISIER
John G. Schwarz joined our Board in December 2011, and became Chairman of the Board in 2014. Dr. Schwarz has served as co-founder and CEO of Visier LLC, a business analytics software firm, since 2010. Previously, Dr. Schwarz served on the Executive Board of SAP AG. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Business Objects S.A., a provider of business intelligence software and services. Before joining Business Objects, Dr. Schwarz served as President and COO of Symantec Corporation, after serving as President and CEO of Reciprocal Inc. Prior to Reciprocal, Dr. Schwarz worked at IBM Corporation as GM of the Industry Solutions unit. Dr. Schwarz serves on the Board of Directors of the Information Technology Association of America's Software Board. A native of Prague, he has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba, a diploma in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, and an honorary PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, SAP
Erwin Gunst has served on our Board since October 2012. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Gunst served as COO and a member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, where he was responsible for global operations, information technology, human resources, and the management of all SAP Labs worldwide. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Gunst served as a Corporate Officer of SAP AG and President of Customer and Solutions Operations for EMEA. Prior to that, Mr. Gunst served in a variety of positions with SAP, including Managing Director of SAP AG subsidiaries in Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Mr. Gunst holds an MS in Commercial Engineering from the Free University (Solvay) in Brussels, Belgium.
Partner, BLR & Partners
Ulf Claesson has served as one of our directors since October 2012. In 2009, Mr. Claesson became a Partner at BLR & Partners AG, a private equity firm located in Zurich, Switzerland. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Claesson built up and ran one of HP’s product divisions as a GM and VP. From 2002 to 2006, he was Co-Founder and Chairman of Silverwire Group (now a Hewlett-Packard Company). Prior to that, he founded Whitecap GmbH and Whitecap LLP, where he also serves as Managing Director to this day. From 1977 to 1997, Mr. Claesson served in various positions at IBM, where he built up its OEM business in Continental Europe. He also serves as a member of the board of the Swiss Federal Commission for Innovation and Technology and is a lecturer, teaching Entrepreneurship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Mr. Claesson holds an MS from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.
FORMER GROUP STRATEGY AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, VODAFONE GROUP
Warren Finegold joined our Board in February 2015. He has been a member of the Vodafone Group Executive Committee and is a former Group Strategy and Business Development Director. Previously, he was a Managing Director of UBS Investment Bank, where he held a number of senior positions, most recently as Head of the Technology Team in Europe. Before that, he was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs International in New York and London. He began his career as an Executive in the Corporate Finance Department of Hill Samuel and Co. Ltd. Mr. Finegold holds an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from London Business School.
Global Service Line Leader at Deloitte LLP
Belinda Richards joined the Avast Board in June 2018. Her background includes a 30-year career in Finance, M&A, and strategy development and implementation. Previously, Ms. Richards served as a Senior Corporate Finance Partner at Deloitte LLP where she held the position of Global Head of Deloitte’s Merger Integration and Separation Advisory Services business. Currently, Ms. Richards also sits on the Boards of WM Morrison Supermarkets plc, Phoenix Group Holdings plc, The Monks Investment Trust PLC and Schroder Japan Growth Fund plc. She is a member of FRC’s Advisory Group of Audit Committee Chairmen and a member of the Governing Council of CSFI, a not-for-profit think tank based in London. She has a first class honours degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a PhD from University College, London.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Steckler has served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Avast since January 2009. Through his leadership and business strategies, Mr. Steckler grew billings 35X, reaching $811M in 2017, and has developed an executive leadership team that has consistently delivered industry leading profits to the bottom line. Prior to joining Avast, Mr. Steckler was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec Corporation, where he was in charge of multi-channel international consumer sales valued at $2.0 billion. Mr. Steckler also served over two years as Symantec’s Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan and was responsible for all enterprise and consumer business in that region. Prior to joining Symantec, Mr. Steckler had 20 years of experience in software development, systems analysis and engineering, and business development. Mr. Steckler holds two B.S. degrees from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information and Computer Science.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Phil Marshall joined Avast in 2018, bringing a wealth of global experience, having successfully led finance groups in a variety of public and private companies. Before Avast, Mr. Marshall served as CFO for Exova Group PLC, CFO for Wood Mackenzie, CEO of the $2B General Electric Consumer & Industrial Solutions group for the EMEA region, and various other positions throughout his seventeen-year career at GE. He has also served on the boards of several companies. Mr. Marshall holds a BA in Accounting Studies from the University of West London.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, CONSUMER, & CTO
Ondrej Vlcek serves as our EVP and GM for the Consumer business & CTO leading our largest business at Avast. Through his strategies and vision, Mr. Vlcek has architected our cloud based security network for the newly announced IoT security solutions and has led his team to dramatic growth by re-inventing how we protect people online. In his prior role at Avast as CTO, he pioneered Avast's transformation from a traditional PC antivirus vendor into the leading next- gen provider of security solutions it is today. In 2003, Mr. Vlcek became a chief developer at Avast and led the team that developed one of the first antivirus program for Windows. He holds an MS in Mathematics from Czech Technical University in Prague.
Eduard Kučera, one of our co-founders, served as our Chairman of the Board from the incorporation of AVAST Software a.s. in 2006 until 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Kučera was responsible for the activities of our predecessor entity, ALWIL Software partnership. He also served as our CEO, directing day-to-day operations that included the transition to a free software distribution model in 2002. Before co-founding Avast, Mr. Kučera was a computer hardware specialist at the Czech Computer Research Institute (VUMS). In 2009, Mr. Kučera was named Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" for the Czech Republic. Mr. Kučera holds a Doctorate of Natural Sciences degree in experimental physics from Charles University in Prague.
Pavel Baudiš is one of our co-founders and served as one of our Directors from the incorporation of AVAST Software a.s. in 2006 until 2014. In 1988, Mr. Baudiš wrote the original software program from which our current portfolio of security solutions has developed. Since 1991, Mr. Baudiš has played a leading role in the development of our business with our predecessor entity, ALWIL Software partnership. Prior to co-founding Avast, Mr. Baudiš was a graphics specialist at the Czech Computer Research Institute (VUMS). Mr. Baudiš holds an MS in Information Technology from the Prague School of Chemical Engineering.
MANAGING PARTNER AND HEAD OF TMT, CVC CAPITAL PARTNERS
Lorne Somerville, Managing Partner, joined CVC in 2008. Lorne is Co-Head of the Strategic Opportunities Fund and Head of the CVC Telecommunications Media and Technology team. He is based in London. Prior to joining CVC, he worked for UBS where he was Joint Global Head of Telecommunications and Head of the European Communications Group, and Swisscom AG as Head of Swisscom International. Lorne holds an MA in Computer Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from IMD, Lausanne.