Welcome to the start of my “CEO’s Corner” Blog. I am Vince Steckler and have just joined as the CEO (http://www.avast.com/eng/vince-steckler-to-lead-global-expansion-of-alwil-software.html). I wanted to first chat a little bit about what we do here, why we are different, and why I joined. We also have a few other blogs going now so check them out also.
First, our product is called avast! and it is a fantastic antivirus/security product. If you are reading this, you probably already know that. If you don’t, go to download.com (http://download.cnet.com/Avast-Home-Edition/3000-2239_4-10019223.html?tag=mncol#userreview) and read the reviews from our users. The company itself is called Alwil Software but don’t go to www.alwil.com as that is a completely different company. Instead, go to www.avast.com. We will work on fixing that confusion in the future. We usually use the name Avast to avoid confusion.
Myself, I joined Avast from Symantec—the World’s largest (in terms of revenue) consumer security/antivirus company. For the last several years there I ran the world-wide consumer sales and e-commerce. I started my career as a programmer nearly 30 years ago and think I have quite a good understanding of security and the security business. In future entries I will write about that some. I am American and lived there for about 40 years. But I am now living here in Prague and before this, I lived in Singapore about 7 years.
The company is nearly 20 years old and was founded by Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis—they too will start some blogging soon. We are here in the capital of the Czech Republic—Prague. We have been developing security and anti-virus products since the beginning and are thus one of the oldest such companies in the world. We are also probably the largest security/antivirus company if one measures in the number of consumers that we protect. We protect about 80 million consumers around the world.
It is this emphasis on protecting consumers that makes us different and convinced me to join the company. Here at Avast we actually believe that computer users deserve very good free protection that does not annoy them. So, we freely distribute our Home version. From the reviews, you can see that it is a very, very good product. Its capabilities are not crippled. It does not find “fictitious” problems to try and get you to upgrade to the paid product. And, it does not constantly annoy you asking for you to upgrade. When I first saw Avast while I was at Symantec I thought the product was way too good to be free. Maybe it is….but free it is and free it will remain.
The company succeeded because of the support of our community and we will continue to support that community. Eda and Pavel grew the company from basically nothing to one that supports 80 million consumers with no marketing or sales. Our users have done the marketing and sales for us—they have told their friends and colleagues; they have posted glowing reviews; they have told us what they like and dislike.
Eda and Pavel have always been focused on developing a great product and supporting the community of users. They believed that by doing those two things the company would succeed. And it did. I am honored to be able to continue that focus.
If you want to contact me….or suggest some topics….please comment or send an email to me using my last name at avast.com.