03:11 PM
Connect Directly

Mozilla Announces New CEO

Gary Kovacs, a former Sybase and SAP executive, will replace John Lilly.

Mozilla Corporation on Thursday said Gary Kovacs will be the organization's new CEO as of November 8th, 2010.

Kovacs formerly held the title of senior VP of markets, solutions, and products at Sybase and then, after its acquistion, at SAP. He worked previously for Adobe, IBM, and Zi Corporation.

John Lilly, Mozilla's current CEO, will step down to join venture capital firm Greylock Partners later this year.

"Gary brings a deep understanding of the mobile space and rich media from his time at Macromedia / Adobe and Sybase," said Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, in a blog post on Thursday. "Both of these areas are critical to the future of the Web."

Lilly in a blog post also stressed Kovacs's "deep background in mobile."

Mobile browsing has proven to be a difficult market for Mozilla. The organization has opted not to try to produce a mobile version of Firefox for Apple's iPhone because of Apple's iOS developer rules. And Mozilla only just released the first Firefox 4 beta for Android and Maemo devices earlier this month.

Mozilla's trouble replicating its desktop success in the mobile arena is compounded by the furious pace of desktop browser development. Since the release of Google's Chrome Web browser in September, 2008, Firefox's share of the browser market has remained more or less flat, with a market share ranging from 22% to 24%, according to NetApplications. Google's Chrome browser meanwhile has seen its market share climb to 8%.

At the same time, Apple and Microsoft have stepped up efforts to make their Web browsers, Safari and Internet Explorer, more competitive.

And the competition is only going to increase. In the next month or two, Google is planning to introduce a new operating system, Chrome OS, based on its browser. And Google continues to be Mozilla's largest source of revenue.

With Apple, Microsoft, and Google all building their respective platforms beyond the browser to include mobile, desktop computing, and cloud services, Kovacs faces the challenge of developing a strategy that will allow Mozilla to thrive amid the Internet's giants.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Increasing IT Agility and Speed To Drive Business Growth
Learn about the steps you'll need to take to transform your IT operation and culture into an agile organization that supports business-driving initiatives.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.