Gary Kovacs appointed as Mozilla Corp.’s new CEO

Six months took Mozilla to find the ideal successor to John Lilly, former Mozilla Corporation’s CEO for the last two and a half years and COO some time before that.

Gary Kovacs, a former general manager and vice president of mobile and devices at Adobe, and employee of IBM for ten years, has been appointed as the next Mozilla Corp. CEO.

A couple of instant thoughts:

  • Mozilla is betting on mobile (and it’s not alone). This is observed by John Lilly, former Mozilla CEO, in his latest post introducing Gary: “He’s got a deep background in mobile over the last 5 years or so — that’s an incredibly important area where we’ve got a lot to prove in the coming years.”
  • He could give Mozilla a much needed corporate IT perspective that helps it tend some important limitations: (policies) support, (deployment and update) support, (service level agreed) support, and then more support.

I am personally glad to see someone who knows Adobe from the inside to come aboard. I am pretty sure Adobe has serious interest in making the web a better place, and is just coming to realize the open web is an opportunity as big as the lack of rich web media features was more than a decade ago.

On the other hand we all need Adobe’s top class tools. A Flash version that outputs HTML5 code instead of SWF files would be a turning point in web history.

Mitchell Baker‘s note on Gary’s personal skills and traits is as encouraging: “I found Gary to focus a bit more on areas of agreement before diving to the heart of potential differences than is common at Mozilla”.

To John: Thanks. For driving Mozilla, helping it define a stronger identity, while becoming a stronger company.

John’s expected to remain in Mozilla’s board after the transition.