Paul Sagan, chief executive of Akamai Technologies Inc., the giant Internet infrastructure company in Cambridge, said Wednesday that he would leave his post by the end of 2013, as the company adapts to the increasing use of mobile devices to surf the Internet.
In an interview, Sagan said he announced his departure now so that Akamai would not “have to rush” to find a new chief executive. “My primary goal is that we can have an even more successful third CEO,” Sagan said, adding that the transition would bring “fresh ideas and change” to the company.
Sagan, appointed president of Akamai in 1999 and chief executive in 2005, led the company through some of its toughest challenges, including the death of cofounder Daniel Lewin in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the dot-com bust.
The challenge facing the company as it changes leadership will be to fend off competitors entering the Web content delivery business, and continuing to build its mobile technology, said Jim Davis, senior analyst at Tier 1 Research in San Francisco. A new chief executive will also need to grow Akamai’s online security business, he added, which the company launched this year to help clients fend off cyber attacks.
Sagan has surrounded himself with an experienced management team that will leave the company in good hands as he moves on, Davis said. Sagan’s departure “doesn’t come as a big surprise,” he said.