Mozilla Wants A New CEO As Gary Kovacs Quits

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Gary Kovacs will be stepping down later this year

Mozilla has started the search for its next CEO, after it emerged Gary Kovacs is to step down later this year.

Mitchell Baker, chair and ‘chief lizard wrangler’ at the Mozilla Foundation, confirmed the decisionin a blog post.

“I want to thank Gary for his contributions to our cause and for bringing new things to Mozilla. Our understanding of the world is deeper and our ability to focus stronger as a result,” said Baker, who once held the top position herself.

The reasons for departure of the man who oversaw the development of Firefox for smartphones and Firefox OS remain unknown.

Mozilla now hiring

Kovacs joined Mozilla Corporation in November 2010, replacing its second CEO John Lilly. Prior to that, he was working at IBM, SAP, Macromedia (later Adobe) and co-founded Zi Corporation, a company specialising in predictive text that was acquired by Nuance in 2009.

garylogo_lg1Following the switch, Kovacs will remain a member of Mozilla’s board of directors. Baker will be taking over some responsibilities of the CEO during the transition period. Mozilla’s last search for a CEO took six months.

“Gary joined us to make a dramatic pivot — to move Mozilla from the desktop browser world into the mobile ecosystem,” said Baker.

“In 2010 we knew that we would need to change many things in order to be effective in the mobile computing environment: our technology, our expertise, our worldview, our focus. Gary’s leadership during this period has helped us build on the strong foundation to make these changes, and to bring that strength into the mobile environment.”

Kovacs, who was the keynote speaker at this year’s Mobile World Congress, has also helped Mozilla foster new relationships with commercial partners, and negotiated a search engine deal with Google that earned the company £192 million annually for three years.

“As we did before, we are making this announcement as we begin a search for a new CEO, rather than waiting until after we have identified one. This fits with Mozilla’s identity as a public benefit organization dedicated to openness and participation in Internet life,” explained Baker.

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