John C Hollar
President & Chief Executive Officer
John C. Hollar is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Computer History Museum. He directs the Museum’s strategic planning and operations and is responsible for leading the Museum toward its goal of being the world’s leading institution capturing computing’s history and exploring its ongoing impact on society.
Hollar was named to the post by the Museum’s Board of Trustees on July 1, 2008. Since that time he has led the development and execution of a series of strategic plans that have produced significant growth in the Museum, its educational and interpretive mission and its financial performance. The centerpiece of the strategy is 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 has 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 serves 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. It has led the expansion of the Museum’s branded distribution of content on YouTube and the growth of content on www.computerhistory.org.
Hollar has accelerated annual and capital fundraising, including establishing a founders’ stock program for Silicon Valley startups. He has formed strategic relationships with National Public Radio, Intel, Microsoft, Google, SAP, the Western Association of Venture Capital (WAVC), the Silicon Valley Executive Network, 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 program, which has international reach, now encompasses such areas as entrepreneurship, introductory engineering concepts and coding and emphasizes teamwork, community 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 Ltd. and Pearson Broadband Ltd. 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 content among many other awards.
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.