Yesterday the world lost one of its most charismatic business leaders, Patrick J. McGovern, founder and chairman of International Data Group. IDG is the world’s largest information technology publisher, distributing content in 97 countries.

As president and group publisher of IT World Canada I had the opportunity to meet this visionary many times over the past decade. A tall and magnetic man, Pat was extremely approachable and had a remarkable memory for faces, names, places, facts and, of course, profits, around the world. His adaptation to the fast-paced world of digital media was inspirational. The only thing he truly had a hard time giving up was his beloved slide projector. It took him a long time to trust computer projections on a screen.

In 1972 Pat launched the world’s first computer magazine, Computerworld, having already founded IDC a technology research business. His genius and tenacity grew the publishing business into more than 300 titles and 450 websites worldwide. “Think global, act local” was Pat’s mantra to all country managers of IDG units and partners such as IT World Canada.

In April 2004, Inc. magazine named McGovern one of its “25 Entrepreneurs We Love” and in 2008, McGovern received the Robert L. Krakoff Lifetime Achievement Award from American Business Media (ABM). The James Smithsonian Bicentennial Medal for the Smithsonian Institution, The Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, Inc. also deservedly came his way.

Pat created the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, an enduring legacy to this man, his family and IDG, which will continue to be financed by his private foundation. IDG will remain a private corporation.

Walter Boyd, former IDG President, has been named chairman of the board.

With Pat’s passing, former CFO Ted Bloom becomes president. In announcing his passing Ted said, “We at IDG honor his legacy by continuing his mission of providing the highest quality information about technology to a global audience.”

All of us at IT World Canada extend our deepest condolences to his family and to all who are a part of or touched by the IDG family this remarkable man leaves behind.