Cyber-security expert Avira announced today that Travis Witteveen has been promoted to CEO of the company, effective July 1, 2013. Witteveen, who has been with Avira since 2009, was formerly Chief Operating Officer. Company founder Tjark Auerbach, who started Avira more than 27 years ago in a garage in Germany, will remain the majority shareholder.
Avira Appoints Travis Witteveen as CEO (Photo: Business Wire)
Witteveen’s entire career since 1992 has been in the security software industry. Prior to joining Avira, Witteveen distinguished himself as senior vice president of sales and global operations at F-Secure (NASDAQ OMX: FSC1V) and vice president of global sales at AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG). At both previous companies, Witteveen was responsible for internationalizing sales and distribution and driving global sales growth.
Avira has quietly become one of the largest antivirus software companies in the world with more than 100 million active users and 500 employees worldwide. Avira was recently ranked #1 in technology innovation according to ABI Research; recommended by Consumer Reports for its free antivirus software; cited by OPSWAT as the #1 fastest-growing antivirus vendor in 2012 and the #2 largest vendor worldwide in 2011; and has received a nearly unbroken string of Virus Bulletin VB100 awards for the last decade.
“Avira is a healthy growing company, firmly established in the security industry,” said Tjark Auerbach, founder and majority shareholder of Avira. “With Travis, I have found a successor who shares my same vision for the company, and has the operational skills and industry connections to take Avira to the next level. He also possesses similar values as I do, and a relentless passion to build and do great things.”
“For the last 27 years Tjark Auerbach has built a top notch company with great employees, achieving a leadership position in the antivirus industry. I am honored he has chosen me to continue evolving Avira,” said Travis Witteveen. “We have a solid pipeline of innovative technology and solutions, expanding our offering beyond just computers and devices. We have a great team with a strong commitment to the customer. It will be hard work but we are going to have a lot of fun continuing the growth and success of Avira.
“In the coming months we will strengthen our leadership in the antivirus industry even more. We will expand our portfolio by providing more security and safety functionality across all our customers’ internet-connected devices, as well as the services and activities they engage in. I’m excited.”
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Avira wants its customers to ‘live free’ from spyware, phishing, viruses and other internet-based threats. The company was founded more than 27 years ago on Tjark Auerbach's promise to "make software that does good things for my friends and family." More than 100 million consumers and small businesses now depend upon Avira’s security expertise and award-winning antivirus software, making the company the number-two market share leader globally. Avira provides IT-security protection to computers, smartphones, servers and networks, delivered as both software and cloud-based services.
In addition to protecting the online world, Avira promotes well-being in the offline world through the Auerbach Foundation, which supports charitable and social projects. The philosophy of the foundation is to help people to help themselves.