Mozilla chief executive to step down

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John Lilly to focus on startups.

The chief executive of Mozilla, developer of the Firefox browser, has announced plans to step down after five years at the helm.

John Lilly explained in an email to staff that the time had come to move on, having seen his role expand rapidly in recent years.

"I've always been a startup guy at heart. Mozilla was going to be a quick volunteer effort for me, but turned into a full-time job. I've really missed working with startups and want to learn how to invest and build great new startups," he wrote.

Lilly confirmed that, after his departure from Mozilla, he will move to venture capital firm Greylock Partners.

"Venture investing is what I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm incredibly excited to join an amazing team. It really matches my sensibilities as an operator quite well," he said.

Lilly added that he will remain as chief executive of Mozilla while the firm looks for a replacement, and mentioned the upcoming launch of Firefox 4 and the need to push Firefox for numerous mobile platforms.

Firefox has grown rapidly in popularity under Lilly's leadership, and now commands 24.59 per cent of the browser market, according to the latest Net Applications figures.

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