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50, and proud of it

Scot Finnie | Jan. 26, 2017
Computerworld was founded in 1967

I got into the business of computer publishing in 1983 when I became fascinated with the power of computers to connect the world. Pat McGovern had that vision many years earlier. His first foray into international publishing came in 1973, when he launched Shukan Computer in Japan, the first international version of Computerworld. IDG was among the very first businesses into China in 1980. Not surprisingly, my first publishing job was at IDG.

IDC and Computerworld were just the tip of the iceberg. Over 50 years, McGovern built a large empire consisting of three primary groups: IDG communications, the publishing arm (including Computerworld); the IDC research arm; and IDG Ventures, an investment firm that focuses on up-and-coming technology businesses. And that is just in the U.S.; IDG operates in 97 countries around the globe.

McGovern was often affectionately referred to as "Uncle Pat," but never to his face, of course. He believed in loyalty — and he inspired it in his employees. For decades he walked around many of the campuses of his various companies shaking the hands of every employee, one by one, chatting with them and handing them a holiday card containing a generous holiday bonus. He passed away in 2014, beloved by IDG's employees and with his stamp on the company culture strong. It bespoke honor, integrity and intelligence. He is sorely missed.

Earlier this month, China Oceanwide and IDG Capital agreed to purchase IDG. Something like this was long Pat McGovern's plan. He wanted to convert his equity in IDG into a philanthropic endeavor largely devoted to the study of the human brain, one of his lifelong passions. That transition is under way right now. So Computerworld's latest chapter is one of rebirth.

We are ready for the future. Bring on the next 50 years!


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