His naming comes as part of a planned leadership transition that the foundation announced earlier this year, according to Mozilla.
Kovacs is responsible for leading the overall direction of the organization and the Firefox Web browser.
Prior to joining Mozilla, Kovacs held senior leadership roles as senior vice president of Markets, Solutions & Products at Sybase (News - Alert) (through its acquisition by SAP earlier this year), as general manager and vice president of Mobile & Devices at Adobe, and as vice president of product marketing at Macromedia (through its acquisition by Adobe).
He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master’s degree with distinction, from the University of Calgary.
In a blog post, Mitchell Baker, chairman of the Mozilla (News - Alert) Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet, explained what Mozilla was looking for in a CEO. Someone with:
• Great executive skills — able to cause us to get things done, to get the right things done, and to get them done effectively and efficiently.
• Able to lead in a complex strategic environment.
• Who is collaborative, good at making others better.
• Who has a great technology sense.
• Who is attuned to the nature of Mozilla — who we are, why we do things, the centrality of the mission and the community building it.
“We talked to a lot of people, and Gary stands out for the way he bridges these skill sets. He melds the fundamentals of a good executive with a powerful understanding that Mozilla’s non-profit, public benefit mission drives everything we do, including those activities which might look like ‘business as usual’ to a casual observer,” Baker said. “Gary brings a deep understanding of the mobile space and rich media from his time at Macromedia / Adobe and Sybase. Both of these areas are critical to the future of the Web. He’s also been deeply involved with building broad platforms, also highly important to Mozilla. Gary also brings a focus on a collaborative work style and the centrality of empowering others. At Mozilla we often speak of ‘poetry and pragmatics’ as fundamental to the nature of Mozilla, and Gary understands both these are critical for Mozilla to thrive.”
“I found working with Gary to be both effective and comfortable,” Baker added. “It may not be obvious, but a lot of time and effort goes into getting to know a CEO candidate.”