Opera's outspoken Chief Executive Jon von Tetzchner has stepped down, with Lars Boilesen replacing the co-founder at the helm.

Von Tetzchner was one of the driving forces behind Opera's rise since its creation in 1995; overseeing the company's browsers picking up a significant market share on PCs and an even bigger one in the mobile phone market, not to mention becoming a major player in television set top boxes and widgets and producing the Nintendo Wii browser.

His legacy will also include the successful action taken against Microsoft's packaging of Internet Explorer with Windows, which eventually saw the software giant agree to bring in a ballot screen which will arrive next year.

He will continue at the company in a strategic and independent capacity.

Significant experience

"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," says Jon von Tetzchner.

"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."

Boilesen worked at Opera from 2000 to 2005 as Executive Vice President and returned in January 2009 as Chief Commercial Officer.

"I am impressed with what Opera has achieved under Jon's leadership," says Lars Boilesen.

"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."