Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs announces plans to step down

It's been less than three years since Gary Kovacs came on as CEO of Mozilla and the former Adobe exec is already planning his next venture, which he says will be more commercial in nature. Later this year Kovacs will officially step down as CEO, though he will remain on the board of directors. Under his tenure, Firefox has held its own in a rapidly changing browser market while making strong moves in the mobile space: first, launching a mobile browser, then a whole mobile OS all its own. Now the company is working closely with Samsung to build a rendering engine designed from the ground up for mobile and ARM, called Servo. The search is now on for a replacement for Kovacs who will continue in the chief executive role until later this year. Whoever steps into those shoes still has a lot of work to do. While Kovacs may have helped guide the company through some rough waters to remain relevant, there are still stiff challenges ahead. Skip on past the break to read the announcement sent to employees this morning.

Hello, all,

What a ride!

When I first joined Mozilla in 2010, it was clear that the Web was at a turning point. Competition on desktop was more intense than ever, smartphone adoption was on fire, and new challenges to openness were developing in both areas of these converging worlds. We needed to move faster, pivot hard to mobile, and scale globally. And we needed to change how we operated if we were to lead the Web through these market transitions. It was this challenge that lured me to Mozilla back in 2010, and it was this challenged that kept me engaged ever since. I just knew that if we focused our energies and executed with the passion and urgency that defined us, we would do amazing things together.

And we have! This period has been an incredible time of growth for Mozilla, and for me personally. I couldn't be more proud of the work we have done - on desktop, on mobile, and in advancing our mission to empower the next 2 Billion Web citizens coming on line for the first time. The project today is led by experienced teams, set on a strong foundation financially and operationally, and with a clear path to the future.

It is my confidence in this team that makes this the right time for me to move on to the next phase of my personal journey. Today, I am announcing that I will be stepping down as CEO of Mozilla later this year. I am committed to continue through the search for a new CEO and to ensure that we do not miss a beat in the process. Following this, I will stay on as an active member of Mozilla's board of directors - so I am staying within the family to help as much as I can.

So, what next? In 2010, when I told my father I was joining Mozilla, he said "Son, you don't know anything about cheese." (he has a strong accent). Last year, after he learned more about us, and our mission, (including how to correctly pronounce our name), he simply said: "Wow, the work you are doing is critical to the world. "lease keep going!" And today, I simply pass along that message: Please keep going! We have momentum, we have a great vision and mission, and we have tremendous support from all of our partners and users for what we are doing. We cannot let up - not for one second! Stay focused, keep going, and keep rocking the free Web!

The world is expecting nothing less!

– gary

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Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs announces plans to step down