About Us

Our mission is to make people around the world safe. We believe that everyone deserves the right to security and privacy both online and offline. Using our global advanced security analytics, we protect 230 million users securing their online devices in their homes, while mobile and in business.

History

Avast’s roots go back to 1988, when Czech researchers Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš encountered the Vienna Virus and began their quest to save the world’s computers from it and others like it. Today, Avast has over 500 professionals headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, with additional offices in the USA, Germany, China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Avast 2016 PC Mag editors choice award

New ground. More expertise

A year of more firsts. In 2015, Avast launches a new, free Business security solution, which makes securing small and medium businesses easy. In addition, Avast acquires Remotium for protecting large business too - creating Avast Mobile Virtual Platform. The perfect way to control and secure large amounts of business data. The mobile portfolio continues to expand with the launch of WiFi Finder, an app designed to take users to the fastest, most secure networks around. Avast also acquires PC magazine Editor’s Choice award, rating ‘excellent’ for another year running. Finally, Avast’s growth means moving to a larger, Silicon Valley inspired office space with cutting edge tech, entertainment and dining facilities.

Mobile continues to grow

Going from strength to strength, Avast adds 30 million new users to reach a total of more than 230 million active users worldwide. The company also welcomes a new investor, CVC Capital Partners, which values Avast at 1 billion USD; on the mobile front, Avast buys startup Inmite and adds 40 mobile developers to its mobile business. Meanwhile, Avast Mobile Security reaches 100 million downloads faster than any mobile security app in Google Play history, and AV-Comparatives ranks Avast as the most popular mobile security provider in North America, South America, and Europe, and third in Asia. New product launches: Avast 2015, with four new features (Home Network Security, Secure DNS, HTTPS Scanning, and Smart Scan), Avast SecureLine VPN for Android and iOS, Avast GrimeFighter, and Avast Ransomware Removal. Avast reaches 500 employees and opens new offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

25 years of making things better

On its 25th anniversary, Avast antivirus claims an industry record by protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, and Android devices worldwide – and is ranked the most-downloaded product on several major global software portals. As well, AVAST Software (the company) acquires the German company secure.me and USA-based startup Jumpshot, gets awarded the Czech Republic’s “Best Employer 2013” in the category of large companies, and finishes the year as the most-profitable IT company in its home country, with just over 350 employees. New product launches: Avast 2014 series, with our new Artificial-Intelligence-driven DynaGen technology; Avast SecureLine VPN (a virtual private network for encrypting and anonymizing web activity); and Avast GrimeFighter (for optimizing/speeding up PC functionality).

Great new milestones

Avast finishes the year actively protecting over 170 million PCs, Macs, and Android devices, with just over 200 employees. Avast Free Mobile Security reaches best-rated security app in Google Play, and Avast Free Antivirus achieves the top-downloaded software spot on Download.com. New product launches: Avast Free Mac Security; Avast 7.0 series, with new innovations that include Remote Assistance (for giving/getting help to/from a friend with Avast), the Avast Account portal (for overseeing all Avast protected devices), and cloud-based FileRep (a file reputation detection) and streaming, real-time virus database updates.

Over 165 million registrations

By midyear, Avast has more than 135 million active users and over 165 million user registrations – all with just over 150 employees. New product launches: Avast Business Protection line (with a simplified central administration console); Avast 6.0 series, with new innovations that include: WebRep™ (a website reputation tool), SafeZone (a clean-desktop option for added safety with sensitive online transactions), and AutoSandbox™ (the first automatic virtualization feature offered within a free antivirus).

Entry of Summit Partners

Summit Partners invests $100 million for a minority share of the company, confirming the unique position of Avast in the global marketplace. Says Han Sikkens, a Principal in Summit Partners, "it is rare to find a company such as Avast that redefines how an industry does business. We are very excited about the growth prospects of this exceptional company." ALWIL Software changes its name to AVAST Software, to more closely align the company with the brand, and Avast reaches 130 million registered users. New product launches: Avast 5.0 series, with a new antivirus engine and an optional Silent Firewall and virtualization Sandbox.

Expanding HQ

To strengthen the team, ALWIL hires Vincent Steckler (formerly of Symantec) as CEO. The Avast registered-user base jumps from 68 million to over 100 million, and the company reaches 100 employees. New product launch: the 5.0 series of Avast Free Antivirus, Avast Pro Antivirus, and Avast Internet Security.

International sales & support focus

ALWIL puts major focus on acquiring a multinational sales and support team and localizing Avast antivirus and avast.com into more languages. The company reaches 50 million registered users and 60 employees. New product launch: Avast 4.8.

One million users per employee

The company reaches 40 million registered Avast users with only 38 employees, for a ratio of one million users per employee, which the company will maintain over the coming years. ALWIL Software transforms into a joint stock company. New product launches: Avast Mac Edition and Avast Windows Home Server Edition.

User base doubles – twice

The Avast user base doubles twice, first to 10 million and then to 20 million by year's end, in large part due to the availability of more language versions and a number of industry awards for quality. Avast sweeps the SC Awards categories with Best Antivirus, as well as Anti-Malware (European) and Readers' Choice (USA). New product launch: Avast Linux Home Edition.

SanDisk alliance

As a great way for Avast to reach new users at a time when the internet does not have such high penetration, ALWIL begins cooperation with SanDisk. Thanks to this partnership, Avast needs language localization for all SanDisk markets. Thus, ALWIL hires the first people for in-house localization and support – this is the first step toward Avast becoming an international success in terms of supported languages. New product launches: Avast U3 Edition (for SanDisk) and Avast 4.6.

One million users

Only 30 months after its first user registration, the free version of Avast reaches one million users. Until this time, it remains uncertain as to whether giving for free what others sell will work, but reaching one million users confirms a successful increase in visibility for the company. ALWIL implements an international reseller channel for its paid-for security solutions. New product launches: Avast Linux version, Avast 4.5 Home/Professional edition, Avast Distributed Network Manager (ADNM), and Avast BART CD 2.0.

Opening an online store

The growing free Avast user base generates a need to offer other paid-for solutions effectively online. Thus, ALWIL turns to Digital River's online sales distribution share-it! New product launches: Avast Bootable Antivirus & Recovery Tool (BART) CD and the (free) Avast 4 Home Edition (under Ondrej Vlček's R&D supervision).

Launch of free Avast

Co-founder Eduard Kučera implements an innovative user-community growth strategy based on the principle that all computer users deserve protection from harmful threats, and that computer safety should not be a luxury some cannot afford. Thus, on June 1, ALWIL Software launches a free antivirus solution for home (non-commercial) use. Six months later (January, 2002), a new registration system sees the very first user registration of free Avast antivirus Home Edition.

McAfee uses Avast engine

ALWIL Software provides the Avast antivirus engine to McAfee, which licenses it for use in its own line of McAfee antivirus products – proving the effectiveness of Avast antivirus technologies with the "Powered by Avast engine" logo on the McAfee VirusScan boxes. Also, ALWIL hires its first tech-support specialist, Pavel Mourek.

Awards in all categories

Avast antivirus is one of the first three antivirus programs globally to win Virus Bulletin's VB100 awards in all testing categories. Virus Bulletin magazine is highly recognized as a leading independent authority on computer security, and even a single VB100 award is difficult to attain.

First antivirus for Windows 95

A young Ondrej Vlček (current Avast CTO) joins ALWIL while completing his university studies. He writes the first antivirus program for Windows 95.

A 'company' is born

Founders Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera, free from the socioeconomic constraints of the former regime, finally transform ALWIL Software from a 'cooperative' into a joint partnership 'company'.

Velvet Revolution

The Velvet Revolution and new Czechoslovak independence from the Soviet Union bring economic freedom to business endeavors. In the preceding years, organizations were not allowed to have 'company' status and had to remain only a 'cooperative'.

First tool against Vienna Virus

Pavel Baudiš, then a researcher at Prague's Mathematical Machines Research Institute, encounters a sample of the Vienna Virus and, intrigued by it, writes a program able to remove it. He then shows it to colleague Eduard Kučera and, together, they start ALWIL Software cooperative, which releases the first Avast antivirus. Due to the oppressive regime, they are unable to form a 'company' at this time.

Statistics

In the last 30 days,
Avast has saved the world from

2,368,767,045

virus attacks.

See more stats


Vincent Steckler

CEO

Vincent Steckler has served as our Chief Executive Officer and one of our Directors since 2009. Prior to joining us, Mr. Steckler was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec Corporation. Mr. Steckler joined Symantec in 2000 as Vice President of Public Sector Business and started Symantec's business of serving U.S. local, state, and federal governments. 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, project management, and business development. Mr. Steckler holds two B.S.'s from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information and Computer Science.

Ondřej Vlček

COO

Ondřej Vlček has served as our Chief Operations Officer since January 2014. Before that, he was from 2007 our Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Vlček joined us as a software developer in 1995, and was made a chief developer in 2003, when he was part of the team that developed our first antivirus program for Windows. Mr. Vlček holds an M.S. in Mathematics from Czech Technical University in Prague and commenced post-graduate studies in non-linear optimization at Charles University in Prague's Faculty of Mathematics and Physics.

Rene-H. Bienz

CFO

Rene-H. Bienz has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2014. Previously, Mr. Bienz was the CFO at Fastweb in Milan, a subsidiary of Swisscom and Italy’s main alternative telecommunications provider. From 2005 to 2011, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Bakcell, the 2nd largest mobile operator in Azerbaijan. Mr. Bienz has a long career in Finance and has held senior positons in Italy, Azerbaijan, Switzerland and at Czech Telecom (nowadays O2) in the Czech Republic. Mr. Bienz holds a Master in Business Administration (major in Banking and Finance) from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and a title from Harvard Business School.

Robin Selden

CMO

Robin Selden joined Avast Software in October 2015 and is responsible for global brand development, demand generation and customer loyalty for Avast, a leading global security Company for both the consumer and business markets. Prior to Avast, Robin was the CMO at NETGEAR where she was part of the executive team that took the company to the #1 market share position worldwide for home WiFi and Smart Home Video Monitoring. Ms. Selden was responsible for advertising, content marketing, marketing information systems and social media strategies around the world. She also had responsibilities for customer experience and ecommerce revenue growth on Amazon and other e-tail sites in multiple countries. Before joining NETGEAR she was the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dolby responsible for the product marketing, Hollywood studio relationships, cinema marketing and corporate communications. While at Dolby, Robin developed their first Advertising and Social Media campaigns bringing the Dolby brand to life to a new younger audience. Robin’s last position at Logitech was VP & General Manager of the Streaming Media Business Unit where she grew the business 3X in two years. Prior positions at Logitech include Worldwide Marketing VP developing consumer marketing strategy, television advertising and brand management for Logitech. Robin has over 20 years of experience in General Management and Marketing in technology, consumer products, business products and Mobile industries

Robin has served on the Board of Advisors for Santa Clara University Graduate School of Business, is a recipient of the Silicon Valley TWIN award honoring Women Executives, and was recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of the “Top Women in Business for 2003”. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Santa Clara University and graduated with honors with a Bachelors of Science from California Polytechnic State University.

Glenn Taylor

CSO

Glenn Taylor has served as our Chief Strategy Officer since January 2014. Before that, he was from 2011 our Vice President of Sales. Prior to joining us, from 2006 to 2010, Mr. Taylor served as Senior Director of eCommerce Sales at Symantec Corporation, where he led the e-commerce retention and partner sales teams. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Taylor served as Senior Director of Public Sector Sales at Symantec, where he led the state and local government and education sales team. Prior to Symantec, Mr. Taylor was a Director of IT Acquisition & Combat Support in the United States Air Force, where he led major IT initiatives, including setting up the first Air Force portal for business systems, and negotiating all enterprise-wide agreements for commercial technologies. Mr. Taylor holds a B.S. in Operations Research from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.S.S.M. from the University of Southern California. .

Alan Rassaby General Counsel and Company Secretary

Alan Rassaby

General Counsel and Company Secretary

Alan Rassaby has served as our General Counsel and Company Secretary since February 2013. From 2000 to 2012, he was the General Counsel of RightNow Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ RNOW) where he also spent several years as Company Secretary and SVP of Global Human Resources. Before that, Mr. Rassaby was SVP and General Counsel both of Powerhouse Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ PWRH) and Anchor Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ SLOT) after Anchor’s acquisition of Powerhouse. Prior to becoming in house counsel to software companies, Mr. Rassaby practiced law in Australia, where he was a partner in Phillips Fox, Lawyers. Mr. Rassaby received his initial law degree from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science of London University in England. He is a member of the State bars of NSW and Victoria (Australia) and Oregon (United States).

Kamila Štěpánková Human Resources Director

Kamila Štěpánková

Human Resources Director

Kamila Štěpánková has served as our Human Resources Director since June 2013. Prior to joining us, Mrs. Štěpánková was for three years at CSC Computer Sciences, where she led Human Resources for Austria and Eastern Europe and was responsible for development and implementation of regional HR strategy, leadership consultation, and deployment of global HR projects at the regional level. Prior to joining CSC Computer Sciences, Mrs. Štěpánková served for six years at SAP as HR Business Partner Manager for Global Shared Services. Mrs. Štěpánková holds a Bachelor’s of HR Management from Charles University and a Master’s of Adult Education from University of J.A. Komensky.

Gagan Singh President of Mobile

Gagan Singh

President of Mobile

Gagan Singh has served as our President of Mobile since Oct 2015. Previously, Mr. Singh was VP of Mobile Strategy, Engineering & Solutions at Moovweb, a Software-as-a-Service company focused on cloud-based mobile experience optimization in San Francisco. From 2012 to 2014 he was Executive Vice President and CTO at VIZ Media, a global multi-media company. Prior to that he was founder and CEO of West Side Labs Inc. with offices in New York City and Tokyo. Mr. Singh has more than 15 years of experience leading product, engineering, and marketing teams in both enterprise and consumer software companies.

Mr. Singh holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

Eduard KučeraCo-Founder

Eduard Kučera

Co-Founder

Eduard Kučera, one of our co-founders, served as our Chairman of the Board from the incorporation of AVAST Software a.s. in December 2006 until January 2014. Since 1991, Mr. Kučera was responsible for the activities of our predecessor entity, ALWIL Software partnership. From 1991 to 2009, Mr. Kučera also served as our Chief Executive Officer, directing day-to-day operations that included the transition to a free software distribution model in 2002. Prior to 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 2009" for the Czech Republic. Mr. Kučera holds a Doctorate of Natural Sciences degree in experimental physics from Charles University in Prague.

Pavel BaudišCo-Founder

Pavel Baudiš

Co-Founder

Pavel Baudiš is one of our co-founders and served as one of our Directors from the incorporation of AVAST Software a.s. in December 2006 until January 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 M.S.c. in Information Technology from the Prague School of Chemical Engineering.

Vincent Steckler

CEO

Vincent Steckler has served as our Chief Executive Officer and one of our Directors since 2009. Prior to joining us, Mr. Steckler was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec Corporation. Mr. Steckler joined Symantec in 2000 as Vice President of Public Sector Business and started Symantec's business of serving U.S. local, state, and federal governments. 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, project management, and business development. Mr. Steckler holds two B.S.'s from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information and Computer Science.

Scott Collins Managing Director
Summit Partners

Scott Collins

Managing Director, Summit Partners

Scott Collins has served as one of our Directors since August 2010. Mr. Collins is a Managing Director of Summit Partners, L.P., a global growth equity firm. Mr. Collins joined Summit in 1996 and founded the firm's London office, which he currently manages. Prior to joining Summit, Mr. Collins worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company and served on a variety of positions with the U.S. federal government. Mr. Collins currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Actix Limited, a mobile network analytics and optimization company, Acturis Limited, an information technology and services company, Bigpoint GmbH, an online gaming company, Multifonds (IGEFI Group Sàrl), a fund accounting and transfer agency software company, Ogone SA/NV, an online payment service provider, vente-privee.com SAS, a members-only online provider of high-end consumer products, and Welltec International, provider of precision robotic solutions for oil and gas wells. Mr. Collins holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

John SchwarzChairman of the Board
CEO, Visier

John G. Schwarz

Chairman of the Board
CEO, Visier

John G. Schwarz has been on our Board since December 2011.In January of 2014, he became Chairman of the Board for AVAST Software s.r.o. Since May 2010, Dr. Schwarz has served as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Visier LLC, a business analytics software firm. Dr. Schwarz previously served on the executive board of SAP AG from March 2008 to February 2010. From September 2005 through its acquisition by SAP in January 2008, Dr. Schwarz was the Chief Executive Officer 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 from December 2001 to September 2005. Prior to joining Symantec, from January 2000 to November 2001, Dr. Schwarz served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Reciprocal Inc., which provided business-to-business secure e-commerce services for digital content distribution over the internet. Before joining Reciprocal, Dr. Schwarz spent 25 years at IBM Corporation where most recently he was General Manager of IBM's Industry Solutions unit, a worldwide organization focused on building business applications and related services for IBM's large industry customers. Dr. Schwarz serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Information Technology Association of America's Software Board. A native of Prague, Dr. Schwarz has a Bachelor of Science 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.

Ondřej Vlček

COO

Ondřej Vlček has served as our Chief Operations Officer since January 2014. Before that, he was from 2007 our Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Vlček joined us as a software developer in 1995, and was made a chief developer in 2003, when he was part of the team that developed our first antivirus program for Windows. Mr. Vlček holds an M.S. in Mathematics from Czech Technical University in Prague and commenced post-graduate studies in non-linear optimization at Charles University in Prague's Faculty of Mathematics and Physics.

Erwin Gunst Former COO, SAP

Erwin Gunst

Former COO, SAP

Erwin Gunst has served on our Board since October 2012. From July 2008 to March 2010, Mr. Gunst served as Chief Operating Officer 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 October 2004 to July 2008, Mr. Gunst served as a Corporate Officer of SAP AG and President of Customer and Solutions Operations for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. From 1988 to 2004, Mr. Gunst served in a variety of positions with SAP, including Managing Director of SAP AG subsidiaries in Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and, previously, positions in Finance and Controlling at SAP International AG in Switzerland. Mr. Gunst holds a M.S. in Commercial Engineering from the Free University (Solvay) in Brussels, Belgium.

Ulf Claesson Partner
BLR & Partners

Ulf Claesson

Partner, BLR & Partners

Ulf Claesson has served as one of our directors since October 2012. Since 2009, Mr. Claesson has served as 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 General Manager and Vice President after having one of his companies acquired by Hewlett-Packard Corporation. From 2002 to 2006, he was Co-Founder and Chairman of Silverwire Group (now a Hewlett-Packard Company). Prior to co-founding Silverwire Group, in 1997 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 European and global management and executive positions at IBM Corporation, where he, among other new business segments, built up IBM’s global Distribution business and 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 a M.Sc. from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Siddharth Patel Managing Director
CVC Capital Partners

Siddharth Patel

Managing Director, CVC Capital Partners

Managing Director, joined CVC in 2010. Sid is a member of the CVC Telecommunications, Media, and Technology team and is based in London. Prior to joining CVC, he was with Apax Partners, where he spent nine years in the Technology and Telecommunications team leading or co-leading transactions across the sector. Prior to Apax, he worked at Monitor Company. Sid holds First Class MA and BA Degrees from the University of Oxford.

Lorne Somerville Partner and Head of TMT
CVC Capital Partners

Lorne Somerville

Partner and Head of TMT, CVC Capital Partners

Partner, joined CVC in 2008. Lorne is the Head of the CVC Telecommunications, Media, and Technology team and 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.

Warren Finegold Group Strategy and Business Development Director
Vodafone Group

Warren Finegold

Group Strategy and Business Development Director, Vodafone Group

Warren Finegold joined the Board of Avast in February 2015. He has been a member of the Vodafone Group Executive Committee since 2006 and is currently 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, advising companies on Mergers and Acquisitions and raising capital. He began his career as an Executive in the Corporate Finance Department of Hill Samuel and Co. Ltd. Warren holds an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from London Business School.

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