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Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs to step down later this year

Mozilla has announced that CEO Gary Kovacs will step down later this year.

Kovacs will remain on the company's board of directors, and Mozilla is currently on the hunt for his successor.

"As we did before, we are making this announcement as we begin a search for a new CEO, rather than waiting until after we have identified one," Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation chair, said in a blog post. "This fits with Mozilla's identity as a public benefit organization dedicated to openness and participation in Internet life."

Baker, who served as Mozilla's first CEO from 2004 to 2008, said she will become executive chair and take a more active role in the company's day-to-day activities.

Kovacs took over as Mozilla CEO in October 2010 and has focused much of his attention on the transition to mobile.

"Gary joined us to make a dramatic pivot — to move Mozilla from the desktop browser world into the mobile ecosystem," Baker wrote. "In 2010 we knew that we would need to change many things in order to be effective in the mobile computing environment: our technology, our expertise, our worldview, our focus. Gary's leadership during this period has helped us build on the strong foundation to make these changes, and to bring that strength into the mobile environment."

In a statement, Kovacs said today that "this is the right time for me to announce the transition plan and a vote of confidence in the abilities of the leadership team."

The company announced a few other executive shuffles. Jay Sullivan, previously senior vice president of products, is now chief operating officer, while former Microsoft exec Li Gong has been named senior vice president of mobile devices.

Mobile will likely continue to be a major focus for Mozilla in the year ahead. At Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the company showed off its Firefox OS, which is expected to launch later this year.