Melih Abdulhayoglu | Founder-CEO of Comodo Group

Melih Abdulhayoglu is a Turkish-American engineer, entrepreneur, innovator, and internet security advocate.

Melih’s first company was Comodo Group, which he founded in 1998, growing its Certificate Authority, Comodo CA, become the largest SSL provider in the world with 50% market share. In 2017, he sold 50% of Comodo CA to private equity firm Francisco Partners and shifted his focus to his other companies, including the cybersecurity software side of Comodo Group, Comodo Security Solutions, Inc.

Melih’s mission since founding Comodo has been to create a secure and trusted environment online.

If you ask Melih where his drive and vision to create a safer internet came from, he’ll point to his childhood. “I was always building things. Always,” he says, recalling the time he built his first electronic circuit at age nine. “When I got to university, I continued building and working on innovative projects. It was just natural for me” After graduating, in the early 1990s Melih saw an opportunity with the rapid development of the internet. “I saw how much potential it had to spread knowledge, to share information,” he said. “But I also saw how dangerous it could be.” Recognizing an opportunity to use his talents to create a safer internet, Melih founded Comodo in 1998.

But for Melih, founding Comodo was just the first step. Realizing that he couldn’t build a safer internet alone, in 2005, Melih founded the Certification Authority Browser Forum (CA/B Forum), a voluntary consortium of certificate authorities, internet browser developers, and operating system vendors that issues industry standards and best practices. As of 2019, the forum includes over forty certificate authority members and six major browser vendors.

Following the success of the CA/B Forum, and recognizing a major problem with “scareware” and viruses masquerading as legitimate antivirus software, in 2009, Melih initiated the Common Computing Security Standards Forum (CCSS), an organization of security software vendors and operating system and browsers developers, working to mitigate the risk of malware and protect consumers worldwide. The CCSS maintains a list of trusted antivirus vendors that consumers can reference when choosing an AV.

In 2008, Melih Abdulhayoglu’s won the prestigious 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.

In addition to Comodo, Melih is also the founder and CEO of the private equity group MAVeCap, which controls Comodo Group and the rest of Melih’s portfolio of tech companies, including ITarian, nuMSP, Ezlo Innovation, and Vera among others.