Mozilla

Welcome Gary Kovacs

October 14th, 2010

I’m very excited to introduce Gary Kovacs, who is joining Mozilla as our new CEO for the Mozilla Corporation. As I mentioned in my last post describing the search, we’ve been looking for someone with a broad range of skills:

• 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
• collaborative, good at making others better
• great technology sense
• and of course, phenomenally attuned to the nature of Mozilla — who we are, why we do things, the centrality of the mission and the community building it

A number of people were involved in the search process. 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. 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.

Less formally, but equally important — I found working with Gary to be both effective and comfortable. It may not be obvious, but a lot of time and effort goes into getting to know a CEO candidate. This is partially about technical issues — how much does s/he understand about our space, our mission, our identity. It’s also about personal and approach issues — how will we work together, what’s it like to work through a difficult topic, what is a candidate’s style under stress, how does s/he make decisions, what’s his/her leadership style, how does s/he get things done.

When we entered into sensitive areas I found it possible to raise potentially contentious issues, find some common ground, get to the heart of the matter and push some hard topics around until we both felt we’d reached a good place. I found Gary to have a great understanding of the different perspectives of the situation, an ability to be clear where we already had agreement, and a give-and-take process when we had disagreements that I think is fundamental for someone to be effective at Mozilla. Actually, I found Gary to focus a bit more on areas of agreement before diving to the heart of potential differences than is common at Mozilla — a trait I hope to learn from :-)

Mozilla has great opportunities and great challenges ahead of us. We have tremendous assets. We must be our best, and demonstrate what the Internet can be. The stakes are high, and every person who cares about a trustworthy and participatory Internet is essential. Gary is an immense asset. He’s also a human being I expect each of us will respect immensely and enjoy working with.

Please join me in welcoming Gary to Mozilla!

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36 comments for “Welcome Gary Kovacs”

  1. 1

    Pingback from Introducing our new CEO: Gary Kovacs :: The Mozilla Blog

    [...] Welcome Gary Kovacs by Mitchell Baker [...]

  2. 2

    Viking KARWUR said on October 14th, 2010 at 10:21 am:

    Congrats Gary Kovacs! Wish you all the best!

  3. 3

    bastiaan said on October 14th, 2010 at 10:28 am:

    So, presumable the idea is that after his time at Adobe, where the mantra is to close the Web, he is now to focus on opening it back up?

  4. 4

    Pingback from Gary Kovacs – CEO Mozilla Corp yang baru! « Blog id-Mozilla

    [...] Mitchell Baker : Welcome Gary Kovacs [...]

  5. 5

    Pingback from Mozilla Names SAP Exec Gary Kovacs As New CEO | BJD Productions Blog

    [...] Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has also written a welcome post that points out Kovacs’s experience with mobile and rich media. Here’s a portion of [...]

  6. 6

    Pingback from Mozilla Names SAP Exec Gary Kovacs As New CEO | JetLib News

    [...] Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has also written a welcome post that points out Kovacs’s experience with mobile and rich media. Here’s a portion of [...]

  7. 7

    Pingback from New Mozilla CEO knows mobile, user interface | ZDNet

    [...] In a blog post, outgoing CEO John Lilly officially handed off to Kovacs. Mozilla also made an official announcement as did Mitchell Baker. [...]

  8. 8

    Pingback from Mozilla Names Mobile Exec Gary Kovacs as New CEO: Tech News «

    [...] change, Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker (herself a former corporation CEO, before Lilly) wrote, “we often speak of “poetry and pragmatics” as fundamental to the nature of Mozilla, and [...]

  9. 9

    Jeffrey said on October 14th, 2010 at 12:43 pm:

    Hopefully he will soon figure out ways to replace the 90% of Mozilla’s revenue coming from Google.

  10. 10

    gandalf said on October 14th, 2010 at 2:42 pm:

    Congratulations Gary!

    Looking forward to work with you. Everyone I ever met who joined Mozilla said sth like “I thought I know what it’ll be like, but you can’t be prepared for this” – It’s going to be unique, it’s going to be different, it’s going to be crazy and exciting!

    Welcome on board and best luck. Looking forward to work with you :)

  11. 11

    Ken Saunders said on October 14th, 2010 at 4:46 pm:

    Congrats and welcome.

    The world of Mozilla is a great place to be.

  12. 12

    Pingback from Addabc Village » Mozilla Names New CEO (PC Magazine) | addabc.com

    [...] as usual’ to a casual observer,” Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker wrote on her blog. “Gary brings a deep understanding of the mobile space and rich media from his time at [...]

  13. 13

    Pingback from Mozilla Names Mobile Exec Gary Kovacs as New CEO | AniChaos.com

    [...] change, Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker (herself a former corporation CEO, before Lilly) wrote, “[W]e often speak of “poetry and pragmatics” as fundamental to the nature of Mozilla, [...]

  14. 14

    Pingback from Mozilla names Gary Kovacs new CEO

    [...] in recent years. He also spent 10 years working at IBM in a myriad of leadership positions.In a statement on his blog, Mozilla Chairman Mitchell Baker explained the hiring of Kovacs into the organization: [...]

  15. 15

    Pingback from Gary Kovacs será el nuevo CEO de Mozilla

    [...] vicepresidente senior para mercados, Gary Kovacs, y tomará su rol como CEO el 8 de Noviembre. De acuerdo con Mitchell Baker, ejecutivo de la Fundación Mozilla, “Gary atrae un entendimiento profundo del espacio móvil [...]

  16. 16

    Pingback from Mozilla gets a new boss: SAP mobile exec Gary Kovacs « Technology Feeds

    [...] of technology. Mitchell Baker, a former Mozilla CEO and current Mozilla Foundation Chairperson, says that Kovacs fits the bill. Baker and Lilly, who headed the six-month process to find the right [...]

  17. 17

    Pingback from Mozilla has hired Gary Kovacs, a former executive at Sybase and Adobe, « eComTechnology

    [...] an October 14 blog post, Mitchell Baker, chair of Mozilla Corp., said Kovacs brings the right blend of skills to the job and complemented the search team for finding [...]

  18. 18

    Pingback from Mozilla has hired Gary Kovacs, a former executive at Sybase and Adobe « eComTechnology

    [...] an October 14 blog post, Mitchell Baker, chair of Mozilla Corp., said Kovacs brings the right blend of skills to the job and complemented the search team for finding [...]

  19. 19

    Pingback from Mozilla gets a new boss: SAP mobile exec Gary Kovacs | IT.beta

    [...] of technology. Mitchell Baker, a former Mozilla CEO and current Mozilla Foundation Chairperson, says that Kovacs fits the bill. Baker and Lilly, who headed the six-month process to find the right [...]

  20. 20

    awesome said on December 1st, 2010 at 9:38 am:

    The world of Mozilla is a great place to be.testking ccda

  21. 21

    city online said on December 7th, 2010 at 11:28 pm:

    very useful information. i always use to visit your site. keep it up!

  22. 22

    مانشيتات دوت كوم – اخبار – مصر – العالم – الرياضة – السيارات – الاقتصاد – الحوادث – النجوم – الصحف said on December 16th, 2010 at 12:11 am:

    [...] an October 14 blog post, Mitchell Baker, chair of Mozilla Corp., said Kovacs brings the right blend of skills to the job and complemented the search team for finding [...]

  23. 23

    Sharron Clemons said on December 21st, 2010 at 12:23 pm:

    [...] an October 14 blog post, Mitchell Baker, chair of Mozilla Corp., said Kovacs brings the right blend of skills to the job and complemented the search team for finding [...]

  24. 24

    vikram.sharma said on December 24th, 2010 at 2:18 am:

    Hi,

    Congrats Gary Kovacs! You are the best.

    Cheers,

    Vikram.sharma

  25. 25

    ruwan said on February 21st, 2011 at 12:51 am:

    appreciated,god will help u!

  26. 26

    Efita Efiom said on February 21st, 2011 at 8:52 pm:

    Reading your welcome address on Gary is food to my soul. Your style fits perfectly with my thought on how words should be used to make this life as pleasant as God had willed it to be, WONDERFUL. Business is pleasure, and that is what you have presented to me. Thank you. In building my WEB site, I kept waiting for something, not knowing what; now I know that some thing is the link I have discovered in Mozilla.com. I am new @ the internet but not in a hurry to show myself. Your Browser has made life on the Web a joy because of the many thinking aids I encounter using the facility. I have unique products to share with the world. How to present them for effective adaptation by viewers has been my only challenge. I am a channel not a marketer. Meeting you has removed the load marketing from my head and I am now free to bring the products to the open using your style. Please as I get your reply to this comment, I will be more confident to let you into my mind for your ADVICE and much more in this my quest to breath PEACE to those citizens of our planet who are ripe for this “4Fdiet for the BICOTRAN ” I have discovered. +234803JEHOVAH is my GSM. Call or Tx if you think I am worth the salt. Remain Blessed.

  27. 27

    Ardiva Hiszem said on March 22nd, 2011 at 10:42 am:

    Better late than never….so Welcome and Kedves,Gary Kovacs!!

  28. 28

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    good

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