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Opera CEO starts Atlantic swim

Jon von Tetzchner dons wetsuit and steps into "freezing Oslo fjord" after browser beats download target. Photos: One very wet CEO

Opera Software CEO Jon von Tetzchner has begun his cross-Atlantic swim after the browser beat its download target.

Tetzchner said last week that he would swim from Norway to the United States if Opera 8 was downloaded a million times in its first four days of release. Because this target was exceeded over the weekend, the executive has agreed to keep to his promise.

Tetzchner swims Atlantic

"Although I blatantly admit that my promise was based more on joy and enthusiasm than my swimming abilities and physical health, I will do my very best to keep it," he said in a statement.

Tetzchner entered the "freezing Oslo fjord" on Monday and started swimming toward the United States, the company said. Opera's public relations manager, Eskil Sivertsen, is rowing an inflatable boat alongside Tetzchner "as an act of guilt after making the CEO's statement public," according to the Opera Web site.

It remains to be seen whether the CEO will actually complete the ambitious journey.

A map of the executive's planned route features a stopover in Iceland for "Mum's hot chocolate." An update on Tetzchner's swim is planned for Tuesday.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.