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.

Back to the Summit: A chat with John Lilly, Mozilla CEO

During the last Mozilla Summit, in past July, I had the chance to talk face to face with many mozillians for the first time.

If anything, I have to say the Mozilla community is a very friendly bunch of people to be with. All of them very compromised with the particular role each one plays in the very large Mozilla ecosystem, resulting in a very inspiring experience knowing that there’s no small role to play as long as you play it well.

By the time the Summit ended, at least one thing resulted pretty clear: Mozilla really is all about the open Internet. Mozillians are Internet users first, and whatever their role is, second. This translates in their appreciation for technology, communications, standards, and innovation, but also their understanding of usability, privacy, security and controlling the software they use.

Continue reading Back to the Summit: A chat with John Lilly, Mozilla CEO