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Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner

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Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner
Tetzchner in front of logos of the Vivaldi browser
Born (1967-08-29) 29 August 1967 (age 56)
Occupation(s)Co-Founder & CEO of Vivaldi Technologies, Entrepreneur

Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner (Icelandic: Jón; born 29 August 1967 in Reykjavík) is an Icelandic-Norwegian programmer and businessman. He is the co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi Technologies. Before starting the Vivaldi Web browser, he launched a community site called Vivaldi.net. Tetzchner is also a co-founder and the former CEO of Opera Software.

Early life[edit]

Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner is the son of the Icelander Elsa Jónsdóttir and the Norwegian Stephen von Tetzchner, a professor of psychology (and the brother of politician Michael Tetzschner). Jon Stephenson grew up around Skólabraut in the Reykjavík suburb of Seltjarnarnes with his grandparents, the doctor Jón Gunnlaugsson and Selma Kaldalóns, the daughter of the doctor and composer Sigvaldi Kaldalóns. Tetzchner went to secondary school at the Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík before continuing his studies in Norway, where he made his career.[1]

Tetzchner holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Oslo.[2]

Opera Software[edit]

Tetzchner worked at the Norwegian state phone company (now known as Telenor) from 1991 to 1995.[2] There, he and Geir Ivarsøy developed browsing software called MultiTorg Opera. The project was abandoned by Telenor, but Ivarsøy and von Tetzchner obtained the rights to the software, formed a company named Opera Software in 1995 and continued working on the Opera browser.[2] In 1996 it was offered for sale to the public.[3]

On 21 April 2005, Tetzchner proclaimed at an internal meeting of Opera Software that if the download numbers of the browser's new version Opera 8 reached one million within four days, he would swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to the United States.[4] Two days later, on the 23rd, the downloads reached 1,050,000 and Tetzchner had to fulfill his challenge.[5] The Opera site covered the swim and his quick failure.[5][6]

Under his leadership, Jon turned Opera into a global company with more than 750 employees in 13 countries. Opera was an early pioneer in mobile web browser and more than 350 million people use Opera.

In January 2010, Tetzchner stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Opera Software, but he continued to serve Opera as a strategic adviser.[7]

In June 2011, Tetzchner announced that he was leaving Opera Software over disagreements with management.[8]

Vivaldi Technologies[edit]

In December 2013, Tetzchner founded the company Vivaldi Technologies and launched the online community site vivaldi.net, which includes a forum, blogs, chat, photo sharing and a free email service named Vivaldi Mail.[9]

On 27 January 2015, Vivaldi Technologies announced the release of its new web browser Vivaldi.[10][11] Its 1.0 version came out in April 2016.[12] Vivaldi is self-funded.[9]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c "About Opera, Executive team". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 14 December 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  3. ^ Brügger, Niels; Milligan, Ian, eds. (2018). The SAGE Handbook of Web History. SAGE. p. 301. ISBN 978-1-4739-8005-1.
  4. ^ "The one million download challenge of Opera 8: Opera's CEO will swim from Norway to the USA". Opera Software. 21 April 2005. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b Osborne, Brian (27 April 2005). "Opera CEO fulfills Download Challenge … sort of". Geek.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  6. ^ "THE 1 MILLION DOWNLOAD CHALLENGE". Opera Web Browser. 26 April 2005. Archived from the original on 28 April 2005.
  7. ^ "Opera appoints Lars Boilesen new Chief Executive Officer". Opera Software. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  8. ^ Wilson, Dean (27 June 2011). "Opera co-founder resigns over disagreements". The Inquirer. Archived from the original on 16 June 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ a b Lardinois, Frederic (23 January 2014). "Opera's Former CEO Launches Vivaldi, A New Community Site And Email Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  10. ^ Dagenborg, Joachim (6 February 2015). "Vivaldi browser hits 500,000 downloads in first 10 days". Reuters. Oslo, Norway. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  11. ^ Shankland, Stephen (27 January 2015). "Ex-Opera CEO composes Vivaldi, a new Web browser". CNET. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  12. ^ Palmer, Danny (6 April 2016). "Vivaldi launches customisable browser for demanding web users". ZDNet. Retrieved 3 December 2019.

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