The CEO and co-founder of browser maker Opera Software Jon von Tetzchner is stepping down, to be replaced by chief commercial officer Lars Boilesen.
Von Tetzchner, founded the Norwegian company in 1995 and has served as CEO since then.
“My decision to assume a new role in Opera is based on a lengthy consideration process. As outgoing chief executive, I leave confident in the company’s continued leadership in key markets, our strong management team, our ongoing commitment to innovation, and our robust financial foundation,” he said.
He will continue to work for the firm but in a "strategic and independent" capacity and has not outlined his plans beyond Opera yet.
Boilesen, 42 , re-joined Opera one year ago, as CCO and board member, after working at the company from 2000-2005 as executive VP for sales . He originally left Opera to join Alcatel Lucent as CEO of the Nordics and the Baltics. “In short, Opera's spirit runs through his veins," said von Tetzchner.
Boilesen has also held various management, sales and marketing positions at companies including, Tandberg Data and Lego.
The change of guard heralds a pivotal time for the browser creator as it struggles against the aggressive growth of Google Chrome.
Boilesen said that Opera will continue to work with OEMs and industry players to continue to push the adoption of Opera and the Opera Mobile and Mini browsers. “We provide browser technology not only to nearly 100 million consumers worldwide, but also to the major players in the industry: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Nintendo, KDDI, SKT, Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony Ericsson to name but a few,” he said.
According to market analysts Net Applications, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still holds the top position, with 62.69% of the market, while Mozilla’s Firefox comes in at number 2 with a 24.61% market share and newcomer Google’s Chrome now accounts for 4.63% of the browser market. Safari is now in fourth place, accounting for 4.46%. Opera accounts for 2.4% of the browser market and Opera Mini has a 0.53% share.