By Gautham Nagesh - 10/17/10 05:03 PM EDT
The maker of the popular Firefox Web browser Mozilla announced late last week it will appoint veteran software executive Gary Kovacs to be its new chief executive.
Kovacs is currently senior vice president of mobile products at the German software giant SAP. His appointment ends a six-month search for a new chief executive at Mozilla, following current CEO John Lilly's announcement he will leave to join the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Kovacs was previously a senior executive at SAP subsidiary Sybase and also held various senior positions at Macromedia and Adobe between 2003 and 2008.
Kovacs is the second former SAP executive to be named to a high-profile position in recent weeks following the appointment of former CEO Leo Apotheker to be chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. He holds a Bachelor's of Commerce and an MBA from the University of Calgary.
Since its introduction in 2004, Firefox has become the industry standard for open-source Web browsing, allowing it to push past competitors such as Apple's Safari and Microsoft's formerly ubiquitous Internet Explorer. The browser has been credited for speeding up and stabilizing Web browsers and spurring competition in the market, such as Google's Chrome.
The latest version of Firefox is due to be released toward the end of next year, but Mozilla is reportedly eyeing social media and mobile devices as other areas where consumers might be looking for increased choice. They are currently working on a mobile version of Firefox and considering building an application that will allow users to track their friends across several social media sites.