Mozilla announces CEO is stepping aside

Mozilla chairperson Winifred Mitchell Baker has announced chief executive Gary Kovacs will step aside from the position later this year.

In a statement, Baker credits Kovacs with transitioning the Firefox developer from a focus on desktop web browsers to new platforms, including tablets and smartphones.

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

“Gary has reinvigorated our focus on working with commercial partners, a trait that was central in Mozilla’s early life but less so during the Firefox desktop era.”

News of the change in leadership comes ahead of the release of Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphone platform, which has seen Alcatel, ZTE, LG, Huawei and Sony sign up as partners.

Mozilla hopes Firefox OS will be a compelling low-cost smartphone alternative to Apple’s iPhones and Google Android.

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