High tech legend told the world about the power of IT

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Pat McGovern, the founder and chairman of International Data Group (IDG), which has a stake in CDN – Computer Dealer News along with sister publications Direction Informatique, IT World Canada, and Canadian CIO magazine. He was 76.

McGovern made IDG the undisputed leader in technology media, events and research; creating a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He started building IDG in 1964. His first venture was to provide statistical data on the IT marketplace.

Then in 1967, he launched Computerworld magazine, a weekly periodical devoted to the high tech industry. But what ended up becoming a master stroke in his career was launching ComputerWorld publications globally. His first was in Japan in 1972.

McGovern oversaw more than 300 magazines and newspapers and championed the expansion of IDG’s online network to include more than 450 Web sites worldwide. IDG’s media brands are now found in 97 countries and include CIO, CSO, Computerworld, GamePro, InfoWorld, MacWorld, NetworkWorld and PC World.

Michael Atkins, the president of owner of Laurentian Media Group, a diversified media company which includes IT World Canada Inc., knew McGovern for more than 30 years and marvelled at his energy, creativity and vision.

“What distinguished Pat more than any other characteristic was that he was a citizen of the world. In many ways he was at his best and happiest travelling the world spreading the gospel of Pat….his values, his vision and beliefs. He was unique in that regard holding tenaciously to the view he was empowering partners and managers around the world to be successful in their own way, in their own cultures and business climates,” Atkins said.

He added that McGovern in this way was an un-American American bestriding the world with curiosity, determination and flare. Happily he did so with a sense of humour and affection for his many followers around the world because that is what it amounted to.

IT World Canada president Fawn Annan also met McGovern during a visit to the Toronto offices. She told CDN that McGovern was a phenomenal individual.

“He still liked to use his slide projector for presentations even though he was told by his senior executives to use more modern technology. But it was what was conformable for him and what made him so special,” Annan said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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