The Computer History Museum's (CHM) Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of John C. Hollar as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He will lead the Museum through its next phase of growth, including the launch of the major "Timeline of Computing History" exhibit scheduled to open in late 2009. Hollar will direct the strategy, fundraising and ongoing operations for CHM, which is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world.
Hollar has expertise in founding, launching and growing award-winning, multi-platform content companies around the world. He previously held senior executive positions at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States and at Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO, LSE:PSON) in the United Kingdom. While at these companies, he successfully led large teams on the creative, technological and financial levels, and established transformational strategies in digital content and distribution. He also built major strategic partnerships with companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, AOL Time Warner, BT plc and China Central Television.
Hollar relocated to Silicon Valley from London, where he was Chairman and Chief Executive of The Vypoint Group LLC, an investment firm he founded in 2005. He joined CHM in his new role on July 1 and succeeds John Toole, who joined Google this year after heading CHM for eight years.
"We have spent several months looking for a person with the right leadership skills and intelligence to guide our institution to the next level, and I'm delighted to say that we found those qualities in John," said Len Shustek, Chairman of the Museum's Board of Trustees. "We're excited about the diverse experience he brings, and look forward to working with him to advance our vision of exploring the computing revolution and its worldwide impact on the human experience."
Hollar's priority in his new role is to build a world-class institution with CHM's unmatched collection and $38 million endowment. The next phase includes development of a comprehensive plan for exhibits and programs, completing the $125 million capital campaign goal, and adding an education and research dimension to the Museum.
"I'm delighted to join the Museum and work with the dedicated Trustees and staff to achieve a new era of growth and success at this pivotal point in CHM's history," said Hollar. "Some of the most compelling stories of our time are found in the evolution of computing and in the lives of the men and women who set the Information Age in motion. I look forward to leading CHM as it re-imagines the way to portray those stories and the history of computing, just as computers have allowed us to re-imagine virtually every aspect of the our lives."
Prior to establishing Vypoint, Hollar founded two companies as part of Pearson plc in London - Pearson Broadband Ltd and Penguin Television Ltd. Both companies produced a broad range of digital and video content for worldwide commercial distribution alongside Pearson's market-leading education and consumer publishing units. He negotiated and led multiple strategic partnerships, including a ground-breaking joint venture with China Central Television for multi-platform content in Chinese and English.
As Executive Vice President of PBS in Washington D.C., Hollar was responsible for the strategy development, operations and management of PBS's Internet, consumer and education units. He founded PBS's Internet and digital media group, which from its inception has been recognized as one of the world's leading innovators in the development of online, video, interactivity, and digital media for public service. He led a five-fold increase in PBS's ancillary revenues, and raised more than $100 million in capital from strategic partners to expand PBS's digital and Internet content capabilities.
Hollar's content and technology teams have earned multiple Webby Awards, a CODIE award for multi-platform software development, a BAFTA for interactive media and the Milia d'Or for a digital biography of Frank Lloyd Wright, produced in conjunction with the PBS documentary by Ken Burns.
Before beginning his career in media, Hollar practiced law in Washington D.C. and served as a senior legal advisor at the Federal Communications Commission for Commissioner Ervin S. Duggan. He holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science from Southern Methodist University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, Calif., is a nonprofit organization with a 29-year history. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computing history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.
CHM brings computing history to life through an acclaimed speaker series, dynamic website, onsite tours, as well as physical and online exhibits. Current exhibits include "Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2," "Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess," "Innovation in the Valley" - a look at Silicon Valley startups - and the unique "Visible Storage Gallery," featuring over 600 key objects from the collection. The signature "Timeline of Computing History" exhibit will open in late 2009. For more information, please visit www.computerhistory.org or call 650.810.1010.