Opera founder resigns over differences with board

The co-founder of Opera Software, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, has handed in his resignation from the company, ending a term that began with the company's creation in 1995. Mr. von Tetzchner was at the helm of the company until the beginning of 2010 when he stepped aside to become a strategic advisor to the company.

The press release, which was spotted by TechCrunch earlier today, also includes an conciliatory email sent by Mr. von Tetzchner to Opera employees:

Dear All,

It is with a heavy heart that I send this message. Next week will be my last at Opera. It has become clear that The Board, Management and I do not share the same values and we do not have the same opinions on how to keep evolving Opera. As a result I have come to an agreement with the Board to end my time at Opera. I feel the Board and Management is more quarterly focused than me. I have always worked to build the company for the future. I believe the foundation we have is very solid to build further upon.

I do believe strongly in Opera as a company, and in all of you working here. Our products actually make a difference for a lot of people in the world, and I wish you all the best of luck moving forward. I will be following the company closely and rooting for you all.

Yours truly,
Jon.

The resignation comes in the wake of the next version of their desktop web browser, Opera 11.50. It is not yet clear what Mr. von Tetzchner and the board were in disagreement of, considering the continuous growth of users on their products.

The departed co-founder has some plans for the future, but those will wait after his end of employment at Opera Software on June 30.

Image Credit: Opera

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19 Comments

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If he is the founder then who cares what others think.. Overrule them and move along if they are nuts fire them... This sounds stupid to me.

Dusco25 said,
If he is the founder then who cares what others think.. Overrule them and move along if they are nuts fire them... This sounds stupid to me.

Founder doesn't mean owner.

You can found company, then you can sell it and keep your job. Until you'll be fired.
Also you can found company on someone's else money. Investor will own it from beginning. But you will manage it, until investor decided to change management.

Dusco25 said,
If he is the founder then who cares what others think.. Overrule them and move along if they are nuts fire them... This sounds stupid to me.

Unfortunately, Opera is a publicly traded company, and is answerable to shareholders. That's why its board can, and did ask him to step down as the CEO. And now, he is being pushed out of the company. It sucks really. Hopefully, he can pull a Steve Jobs or something.

Opera will come out again with a ton of well known bugs. Seems they don't care so much for Desktop Users. Maybe this is another reason he leaves. I don't know details. So many years Opera Desktop focused on wrong things.

As I said, I don't know who is responsible for this, but I now hope to get better and above all to review their priorities, on desktop browser, of course.

darth_mark said,
Yeah, because he's done a great job increasing Opera's browser share all these years.
Considering the mobile phone version of Opera has a massive share of the mobile browser market, I'd say he has.

darth_mark said,
Yeah, because he's done a great job increasing Opera's browser share all these years.

On feature phones Opera Mini is the gold standard for web browsing. I still remember using it on my Moto Razr, before they fixed the hack that allowed MB use to count as minutes.

So, will Google scoop him up or will he work for someone else? I am totally curious as to what the disagreements are about ...