Opera Moves Ahead Under New CEO

Opera Software is moving forward under CEO Lars Boilesen and delivering a new devices browser and new SDKs, or software development kits.

Opera Software is moving forward with a new CEO and is delivering several advances under its new leadership, including a new devices browser and new software development kits.

On Jan. 5, Opera announced that longtime CEO Jon von Tetzchner was stepping down from his CEO position to be succeeded by Lars Boilesen. However, von Tetzchner, who co-founded the company in 1995 and had served as CEO since that time, will continue to serve Opera full-time in a strategic and independent capacity.

According to an Opera spokesperson, "Jon von Tetzchner's title will be co-founder and he will focus on Opera's vision, strategy [and] customers as well as being well represented in the press and at conferences."

In a statement regarding his move, von Tetzchner said, "Lars Boilesen brings both a very significant industry experience and a deep understanding of Opera to the role as the company's chief executive officer. In short, Opera's spirit runs through his veins. 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."

Among the first products released under Boilesen, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will be a stand-alone browser, Opera Devices 10 for Windows CE (beta). Opera will also unveil two new SDKs at the show, the Opera Devices 10.15 SDK for Linux and WinCE (Windows CE) platforms, and Opera Devices 10 for WinCE.

Opera is keeping its devices browser "in line with the company's browsers for desktop computers and mobile phones, ensuring that the latest developments in Web technology are ready to be deployed on TVs, set-top boxes, portable media players, Internet tablets, mobile Internet devices and even car dashboards," the company said in a Jan. 6 news release.

Opera Devices 10 for WinCE is "based on the same user interface (UI) recently released for Opera Mobile and Opera Mini," the company said.

"Opera Devices SDKs are built with freedom and flexibility at their core, giving customers the ability to build a full Web browser, a widget or an application platform on any connected device, including TVs, set-top boxes (STBs), media players, mobile Internet devices and many more," Christen Krogh, chief development officer at Opera, said in a statement. "The TV industry's evolution and innovation has created a demand for tool kits that can handle next-generation IPTV and hybrid broadcast/broadband services on any TV screen. Opera Devices SDK for Linux is just the comprehensive client to help customers harness the power of Web technology."

The company said:

""Opera Devices 10.15 SDKs for Linux and WinCE give ... [developers] from different device ecosystems the freedom and flexibility to build a full Web browser and/or create a modular platform dedicated to Web-based content, services or widgets. Opera SDK features include:??Ç Opera Turbo - Boost browsing speeds with Opera Turbo, Opera's server-side compression technology that is at its best when bandwidth is limited and networks are congested.??Ç Flash Lite 3.1 - Use the Flash Lite 3.1 plug-in, available as an add-on service.??Ç HTML5/CSS3 - HTML5 takes offline access to your Web favorites to a new level. Thanks to a local database, Web pages can now cache content and become accessible offline. Also, with CSS transforms, more dramatic animation of elements on a Web page are now possible, including transitions, scaling, rotation and skewing.??Ç Widgets - Use Opera Widgets engine and APIs to transform a device into a complete platform for W3C-compliant widgets.""

Moreover, although "both Opera Devices SDKs bring the full power of Web technology to the device screen, Opera's Linux SDK boasts a few additional compelling features" such as hardware acceleration "to boost page rendering ... DirectFB [support] for tighter integration with hardware platforms" and support for Opera Widgets for TV. Also, "Opera's Open IPTV Framework allows for the development of HBBTV [Hybrid Broadband Broadcast TV] and OIPF [Open IPTV Forum] clients, compliant with next-generation IPTV or hybrid broadcast/broadband services," the company said.

Back to Opera's new CEO: Boilesen has "more than 20 years of international management and sales/marketing experience from companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Tandberg Data, Lego and Opera Software. Boilesen previously worked for Opera from 2000 to 2005 as executive vice president [of] sales. ... Prior to re-joining Opera in January 2009 as chief commercial officer, Boilesen served on Opera Software's Board of Directors as vice chairman," the company said in its Jan. 5 news release.

"I was very happy about convincing Lars to come back to Opera one year ago," von Tetzchner said in a statement. "I am very excited about asking him to take over as CEO as we continue our growth and global expansion. We have worked closely together for many years and I am certain that he is the right person to lead Opera into a very bright future."

And Boilesen provided a statement of his own, saying, "I am impressed with what Opera has achieved under Jon's leadership. 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. Our focus going forward is to execute on our current strategy and continue to deliver the best browser experience to the breadth of our customer and user base."