Melih Abdulhayoglu is a Turkish-American engineer, inventor, internet security advocate, and entrepreneur. Melih is the founder and CEO of a portfolio of tech companies, including cybersecurity giant Comodo Group, nationwide managed service provider nuMSP, IT management software brand ITarian, and home automation company Ezlo.
Born and raised in Turkey, Melih discovered a passion for building and creating at an early age, creating his first electronic circuit at age nine, and creating various other devices including a 20dB siren to replace his family’s doorbell (“I thought I was just being helpful until my father told me off,” he would later say).
Melih graduated high school in Turkey and then attended college at the University of Bradford in the UK, obtaining a degree in electrical engineering. While in university, Melih explored his passion for building a variety of electronic devices for school and in his free time, winning a patent prize of £5,000 offered by the British government in 1989 for one of his inventions.
“That was the first time I made money from something I made,” Melih said. “It made me realize that I could use my talents to help people and make a living doing it.”
While in university, Melih became fascinated with the internet, which was still in its infancy. “I realized we were on the brink of a communications revolution,” Melih said. “The internet was poised to become the central communication engine of our time and would allow us to access any information at any time.”
But, Melih realized that this presented problems. “At the time, the internet was extremely unsecure,” he said. “I recognized an opportunity to help create a trusted internet, where consumers would be free to shop, study, read, and communicate online without risk.”
In 1998, Melih founded cybersecurity firm Comodo with the mission of creating a secure, trusted internet. Starting out as a small startup in Bradford, Melih grew Comodo into a massive cybersecurity presence, claiming over 50% of the SSL marketing in 2017, when Melih sold off the certificate authority portion of the company, Comodo CA.
Since selling Comodo CA, Melih has shifted his focus to the enterprise and consumer endpoint protection side of the business, Comodo Cybersecurity; as well as his other tech companies, including website security brand cWatch, IT software provider ITarian, national managed IT service provider nuMSP, and home automation company EZLO, among others.
While Melih’s companies have expanded and achieved enormous success, Melih has not lost sight of his original vision of continuous innovation and using his talents to help and protect people. All his businesses have free offerings, he has never refused a charity asking for one of his products for free, and he is always willing to make his products available to people who can’t otherwise afford them.
In 2008, Melih Abdulhayoglu’s efforts to promote Internet security earned him the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year® award in Information Technology Software for New Jersey. In 2011 Melih was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Global Excellence Awards. In 2016 he was awarded the Mustafa V. Koç Business Leadership Award. He is a frequent speaker on Internet security issues and has appeared as an expert on various media outlets, including Fox TV and USA Today.