Akamai Names Co-Founder Tom Leighton CEO

Tom Leighton is taking the reins at Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM  ) , the company he co-founded in 1998 while still a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Leighton succeeds Paul Sagan, who had been CEO since 2005. The stock fell marginally on the news.

Sagan had previously announced plans to step down by the end of 2013. He'll now serve as a senior advisor to Leighton on matters of business strategy while continuing as a member of the board of directors, the company said in a press release.

"Innovation has been fundamental to Akamai's success from the beginning and will be even more so in the future," current Chairman and former CEO George Conrades said in a statement. "Tom has led Akamai's focus on innovation since day one, working directly with customers and partners on breakthrough technologies for leveraging the power of distributed computing."

Leighton leaves his post as Chief Scientist on Jan. 1. Sagan steps aside the same day. Taking their places are existing executives Bob Hughes, who becomes President, Worldwide Operations, and Rick McConnell, who takes over as President, Products and Development.

According to an SEC filing, Leighton, 56, "will initially continue to receive his current annual salary of $20,000, which has represented his annual compensation since 2002." Akamai's Compensation Committee is expected to review his compensation arrangements in January.

Akamai is the market-leading supplier of web content delivery services, competing with Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW  ) and Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT  ) , among others.

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