Opera Software has named Lars Boilesen as the company's new chief executive officer.

He succeeds Jon S von Tetzchner, who co-founded the company in 1995 and has served as CEO since that time. Von Tetzchner will continue to serve Opera full-time in a strategic and independent capacity.

"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 CEO, 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."

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Boilesen is a recognised business leader with 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, sales. During the company's formative years, Boilesen played a crucial role in transforming Opera from a desktop browser vendor into leader in cross-platform browsing.

In 2005, Boilesen joined Alcatel-Lucent as CEO of the Nordics and the Baltics. Prior to re-joining Opera in January 2009 as chief commercial officer, Boilesen served on Opera Software's board of directors as vice-chairman.

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"I was very happy about convincing Lars to come back to Opera one year ago. Today, 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," said Von Tetzchner.

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

Lars Boilesen biography

Lars Boilesen has extensive sales and business development experience from the global IT and telecommunications industries. He has held executive positions in various corporations including Alcatel-Lucent where he was CEO for the Nordics and the Baltics. Prior to his 2000-2005 stint at Opera, Lars headed the Northern Europe and Asia Pacific markets for Tandberg Data. He started his career at Lego Group.