When Mozilla rolls out Firefox OS, current CEO Gary Kovacs likely won’t be around to help it along.

Kovacs, who took the helm in 2010, will step down as CEO later this year, but he will remain on Mozilla’s board of directors.

“With this solid foundation and a strong team in place, this is the right time for me to announce the transition plan and a vote of confidence in the abilities of the leadership team,” Kovacs said in a statement.


Above: Firefox is going mobile — only without its current CEO.

Image Credit: Mozilla

Kovacs’s departure comes at an interesting time for Mozilla, which has made some good strides with Firefox OS, its HTML 5-based mobile operating system. Reception to the effort has been largely positive, and Mozilla has already gotten support from major carriers like Deutsche Telekom, Japan’s KDDI, and Telefonica.

How Kovacs’s decision will affect Mozilla’s mobile ambitions is still unknown, but it’s certain that whoever replaces him will have to know the mobile space pretty well. (Kovacs himself cofounded Zi Corporation, a mobile text messaging company, and was vice president of mobile and devices at Adobe.)

Alongside Kovacs’s departure, Mozilla also announced a few other exec changes:

  • Former Mozilla Corp. CEO Mitchell Baker will chair the Mozilla executive board.
  • Jay Sullivan, formerly Mozilla’s products VP, is stepping up as chief operating officer.
  • Mozilla in-house counsel Harvey Anderson will become Mozilla’s legal and business vice president.
  • Asian operations president Li Gong is rising to become Mozilla’s new mobile devices senior vice president.

Mozilla says the leadership changes are all about gearing up for its next chapter — which is already shaping up to be pretty interesting.

Photo VentureBeat/Sean Ludwig

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