AVG chief executive JR Smith has stepped down from his role to become a member of the company's Supervisory Board.
The security vendor confirmed Smith's resignation to V3 on Friday, clarifying that he will continue to lead the company until a suitable replacement can be found.
"AVG Technologies today announced that JR Smith has resigned as chief executive and will become a member of the Supervisory Board," AVG said.
"Day-to-day operations continue to be the responsibility of chief operating officer, John Giamatteo, who has been in this role since 2011."
Ovum principal security analyst, Andrew Kellet, told V3 the news is completely unexpected, as under Smith's leadership AVG has seen solid growth over the last five quarters having become a publicly traded company.
"Smith leaving his position of chief executive certainly seems to have been unexpected and caught AVG cold," Kellet told V3.
"The company's announcement talks about the positive profitability and progress achieved under Smith's stewardship, but the fact it is now contracting an executive search to find a successor and the lack of clear succession plans suggests the resignation came out of the blue."
AGV posted fourth quarter 2012 revenue of $95.2m, up significantly on the $74.3m posted in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For its full year, AVG posted revenue of $356m, up 31 percent year on year.
AVG declined V3's request for the reasons for Smith's resignation, however the ex-chief has released a nebulous statement indicating he had been considering the move for some time.
"During my six years as chief executive I am proud of what we've accomplished," said Smith.
"Having grown the company I feel the time is right to turn over the reins. I am looking forward to continuing to contribute as a member of the board knowing that the company is well positioned for future success."
Smith is the second security industry chief executive to step down over the last year. Prior to Smith former Symantec chief executive Enrique Salem stepped down from his role midway through 2012.
The move was reportedly done at the behest of the company board to help improve Symantec's business strategy.
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