Mozilla has shaken up its senior team, with CEO Gary Kovacs leaving the business later in 2013.
Under Kovacs' leadership, Mozilla developed its mobile Firefox operating system, which was formally unveiled at Mobile World Congress and will go on sale in the United Kingdom during 2014. Mozilla said a search was under way for a replacement for Kovacs, who will stay on as a director. Mitchell Baker, who has been general manager of Mozilla since 1999, will become executive chairman and will take more of a hands-on role in running the business.
Jay Sullivan, formerly senior vice-president of products, has been promoted to chief operating officer. He will be in charge of developing the product strategy and roadmap and will lead the Firefox OS programme. President of Mozilla's Asian operations Li Gong has been appointed senior vice-president for mobile devices. He has been tasked with driving further adoption of the Firefox OS, which has already signed up Alcatel, LG, Sony, ZTE and Huawei as launch partners, with a particular focus on Asia.
Gary Kovacs said: 'The past two and a half years have been pivotal in the evolution and rapid growth of Mozilla. I am very proud of our accomplishments as a team. In our mission to empower the next two billion Web users, we’ve made great advances in desktop and mobile and in our ability to lead at the pace of the market. With this solid foundation and a strong team in place, this is the right time for me to announce the transition plan and a vote of confidence in the abilities of the leadership team. I am grateful for the privilege of leading this organization during this period of rapid growth, and I look forward to helping guide Mozilla’s impact on the future of mobile.'
Mitchell Baker said: 'Gary’s leadership has been hugely important in helping Mozilla develop deep mobile outlook and capabilities. I want to thank Gary for all the contributions that he has made to the project during this period of our evolution. I believe that we have an incredibly strong team and organization in place to lead us in writing this next chapter of web history. Together we will also strive to embrace our uniqueness and non-profit core, and grow with our partners and community in new ways.'
Mozilla has partnered with 17 operators to introduce the Firefox OS. Devices featuring the operating system are being targeted at emerging markets and people seeking to switch to smartphones in developed countries.
Author: Graeme Neill