John C. Hollar is the former president and chief executive officer of the Computer History Museum. He directed the Museum's strategic planning and operations and was responsible for establishing the Museum as the world's leading institution capturing computing's history, explaining its ongoing impact and exploring the technological, economic, and social implications of computing for the future.
Hollar was named to the post by the Museum's Board of Trustees on July 1, 2008. Since that time, he led the development and execution of a series of strategic plans that produced significant growth in the Museum, its educational and interpretive mission, and its financial performance. The centerpiece of the strategy was the expansion of the Museum's role as an interpretive institution exploring the rise of computing—one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of humankind. He led the development behind the Museum's major, permanent exhibition, Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing, a multi-platform history experience that examines computing's history from the ancient Antikythera mechanism to modern-day social media. Revolution debuted in January 2011 and has been described as "the Valley's answer to the Smithsonian" by USA Today.
Hollar expanded the Museum's production and distribution of television, film, and digital media to make the major stories of computer history and its pioneers vivid and engaging for audiences nationwide. He served as executive producer and frequent host of Revolutionaries, a weekly television series produced in association with KQED San Francisco. Revolutionaries also appears more than a dozen times a year on KQED Public Radio and is syndicated nationally on public radio. Hollar has also led the expansion of the Museum's branded distribution of content on C-SPAN, YouTube, and on the Museum's own website,computerhistory.org.
Hollar has accelerated annual and capital fundraising, including establishing two new centers providing even deeper focus and scholarship in software history and the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem rooted in Silicon Valley. He has formed strategic relationships with NPR, Intel, Broadcom, Microsoft, Google, SAP, the Silicon Valley Executive Network, the Smithsonian Institution, major publishing companies, and other national and international institutions. Under his leadership, the Museum has also greatly expanded its education programming and outreach to include major inquiry-based STEM+ initiatives. The programs, which have international reach, now encompass such areas as entrepreneurship, introductory engineering concepts, and coding. The programs emphasize teamwork, collaborative problem-solving, and public presentations.
Hollar's career spans global media production, law and public policy. Before joining the Museum, he was President of Penguin Television and Pearson Broadband in London as a senior executive of Pearson plc, the FTSE 100 global media and education company. Before that he served as Executive Vice President of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), where he founded and launched the award-winning PBS.org, PBSKids.org, and a wide array of national education services, including PBS TeacherLine. He has been the executive producer of more than 200 hours of documentary and children's television. His productions teams have won BAFTA, Webby, Codie, and Milia d'Or awards in digital production.
He is a voting member of BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He serves as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and is a past member of the selection committee for the Fulbright Awards conferred by the US/UK Fulbright Commission in London. He is also a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley.
Hollar holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science from Southern Methodist University and a juris doctor from Harvard Law School.