Patrick J. McGovern Biography

Patrick J. McGovern
Founder and Chairman
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Patrick J. McGovern is Founder and Chairman of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, events and research company, with annual revenues in 2013 of $3.55 billion.

McGovern’s career in publishing began while he was a student at MIT, when he applied for a part-time editorial job at Computers and Automation – the first U.S. computer magazine. He was promptly named associate editor and became associate publisher upon his graduation from MIT in 1959 with a degree in biophysics.

In 1964, with the computer industry still in its infancy, McGovern founded International Data Corporation (IDC), now an IDG subsidiary, to provide the industry with timely and reliable statistics on information technology markets. Three years later, McGovern launched Computerworld, a weekly newspaper dedicated to keeping computer buyers abreast of industry and product news.

Computerworld became IDG’s flagship publication, and in 1972, McGovern began exporting the Computerworld concept, launching Shukan Computer in Japan. By “thinking globally but acting locally,” a strategy that continues to guide IDG’s worldwide expansion, McGovern ensured that the Japanese publication would not be a Computerworld clone. From the start, it was edited and managed by a Japanese staff whose mission was to satisfy readers through a superior editorial product tailored to local market needs.

McGovern has overseen IDG’s launch of more than 300 magazines and newspapers and championed the expansion of IDG’s online network to include more than 450 websites worldwide. IDG’s media brands are found in 97 countries and include CIO, CSO, Computerworld, GamePro, InfoWorld/TechWorld/TecChannel, Macworld, Network World and PC World. IDG produces more than 700 technology-related events in 67 countries, including Macworld Conference & Expo, DEMO, Storage Networking World and IDC Directions. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry trends in 110 countries worldwide.

“Thinking globally” is the heart of McGovern’s growth strategy for IDG and is behind his remarkable track record in identifying and opening new markets. In 1980, McGovern established one of the first joint ventures between a U.S. company and one in the People’s Republic of China, and he has since made more than 100 trips to China. In 1993, McGovern established IDGVC, the first venture capital firm in China.

IDG now has more than 30 publications and 45 websites in China and, each year, holds more than 18 expositions and 60 conferences in the world’s fastest growing major IT market. IDGVC Partners has become the leading VC firm in China with over $3 billion under management.

“Acting locally” describes McGovern’s commitment to his people and to a decentralized management structure focused on respect for IDG employees and customers. In April 2004, Inc. magazine named McGovern one of its “25 Entrepreneurs We Love” for “knowing the power of respect.”

“His commitment to decentralization has created a constellation of motivated business units that make their own decisions about everything from how to reward staff to what new businesses to launch. He also treats his end customers – the readers of such publications as Computerworld, PC World and Macworld – with consummate respect. At IDG the quality of content is sacrosanct…”

In 2008, McGovern received the Robert L. Krakoff Lifetime Achievement Award from American Business Media (ABM). In 2005, McGovern received the Magazine Publishers of America’s (MPA) Lifetime Achievement award. In selecting IDG’s Founder and Chairman, MPA said, “Pat McGovern has combined his belief in the power of technology with his vast knowledge of publishing to create a powerhouse company that is a leading global provider of news, information and research about information technology.” His other industry awards include the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Business Publications Editors (ASBPE) and a Top Innovator in Business Publishing Award from BtoB Media Business magazine.

Additional honors include The James Smithsonian Bicentennial Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, The Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, Inc.

Among his many affiliations, McGovern has served as a director of the Information Industry Association, the Magazine Publishers Association and the American Management Association. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. McGovern is also a trustee of MIT, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.