Vince Steckler: A leader, mentor, and friend who will be deeply missed
It is with deep sadness that I must share that Vince Steckler, our former CEO, my predecessor and mentor, dear friend and Avastian legend, passed away in a tragic car accident on Tuesday this week.
Words are not sufficient to express this loss. Vince was so much more than a colleague to me -- shortly after he came to Avast, we became a duo and we spent more than 10 years working side-by-side. Those who worked with Vince know that he defied description. Vince was very private and did not talk much about himself; he was tough as nails but always fair; he demanded the best from himself and others, and Avast’s trajectory under his leadership is proof of that.
After he left Avast, Vince continued to make a profound, positive difference through his philanthropic activities. He was a big believer in creating an inclusive world where everyone gets an equal opportunity to shine and generously supported programs that made this possible. Through a charitable trust, Vince and his wife, Amanda, supported initiatives like the Magical Bridge Foundation and helped to establish the Center for Responsible, Ethical, and Accessible Technology at his Alma mater, University of California, Irvine. He loved Avast and stayed connected to many Avastians after his retirement.
Vince was a passionate lover of cars, from the classics to modern sports hypercars. He spoke to me a lot about a red Ferrari Berlinetta 512 which he bought as a young guy in a poor condition for almost nothing and put together on his own. It only seems to add to the shock and grief that he died while he was out enjoying a drive in one of his beloved classic cars.
Vince was also a big fan of the Czech Republic, and Czech people. When he arrived for the job interview, it was his first visit to the country. His ability to quickly learn its history, grasp the cultural differences and effectively operate in a totally foreign environment was impressive. But it didn’t end there. Vince connected to the local network and made a whole bunch of friends here. And when his wife, Amanda opened her long-anticipated cafe in Singapore, it was one of the few places where they would serve Pilsner Urquell - on tap!
When Vince headed into retirement, I remember him saying that the two things he most looked forward to were spending time with his family and being a dad, and being able to enjoy his hobbies and pursue more charity work. After the intensity with which he dedicated himself to Avast, we were so happy that he would be able to focus on his personal life.
His passing is an unthinkable loss for his wife and children, for me personally, for all Avastians, and for everyone who got to know him. To help process this loss, Vince’s family have requested that memories and stories of Vince be shared with them directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vince will forever stay in our minds and our hearts, as will his energy and passion for making Avast an amazing company and the world a better place.
Vince, you will be dearly missed and always remembered. Thank you so much for everything, and rest in peace.