Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner
Jon Tetzchner Opera CEO.jpg
Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner
Born (1967-08-29) 29 August 1967 (age 46)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Occupation founder

Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner or, in Icelandic, Jón (born 29 August 1967 in Reykjavík, Iceland) is the founder and former CEO of Opera Software. In December 2013 Tetzchner founded his new company Vivaldi Technologies and launched the community site The service includes a forum, blogs, chat, photo sharing and the free email service Vivaldi Mail.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Jon is the son of the Icelander Elsa Jónsdóttir and the Norwegian Stephen von Tetzchner, a professor of psychology. Jon grew up around Skólabraut in the Reykjavík suburb of Seltjarnarnes with his grandparents, the doctor Jón Gunnlaugsson and Selma Kaldalón, the daughter of the doctor and composer Sigvaldi Kaldalón. Jon went to secondary school at the Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík before continuing his studies in Norway, where he made his career.[3]


He and Geir Ivarsøy were part of a research group at the Norwegian state phone company (now known as Telenor) where they developed browsing software called MultiTorg Opera. The project was abandoned by Telenor, but Geir and Jon obtained the rights to the software, formed a company of their own, and continued working on it. Now known simply as Opera, the Internet browser has become very popular despite the competition. Opera Software has grown to over 500 employees since it first moved to its present offices in Oslo.

On Thursday, 21 April 2005, he proclaimed that if the download numbers of the browser's new version Opera 8 reached 1 million within four days, he would swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to the United States. The million was reached, Opera Software announced that von Tetzchner will "stand by his word". On April 25 and April 26, the official Opera site described the nonserious Atlantic swim "attempt" and its quick and comical "failure".[4] The event was reported worldwide by both technology and mainstream media.[5] For Tetzchner's 40th birthday on 29 August 2007, Opera Software announced that it would release the first public alpha of Kestrel, the working title of what would become Opera 9.50. His biggest birthday wish was to give the community a preview of Kestrel, which has been in development for over a year.

On 5 January 2010, Jon stepped down as CEO of Opera Software[6] to be replaced by Lars Boilesen. He will continue to serve Opera full-time as a strategic adviser.

On 24 June 2011, Jon decided to leave Opera Software.[7]

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.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Jón G. Hauksson, Björgólfur Thor og Jón Tetzchner: Íslendingar eiga tvo leiðtoga í 237 manna hópi „Ungra leiðtoga" sem taka þátt í verkefninu Forum of Young Global Leaders, Frjáls verslun, 67.1 (2005), 16--22 (p. 17); ISSN: 1017-3544.
  4. ^ The 1 million download challenge. Opera press release, April 2005.
  5. ^ Phantom of the Opera. Singh, Bajinder Pal, 26 February 2006. The Indian Express.
  6. ^ Opera appoints Lars Boilesen new Chief Executive Officer
  7. ^ "Jon S. von Tetzchner is leaving Opera Software". 

External links[edit]