Kim Dotcom is resigning from data storage provider Mega in order to focus on his extradition case and political aspirations.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the flamboyant director of Mega resigned on Aug 29 and was rapidly replaced by Hong Kong-based Bonnie Lam the same day, according to Companies Office filings.
In an emailed statement, Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar told the publication that Dotcom -- otherwise known as Kim Schmitz -- resigned "to be able to focus on the extradition case, an upcoming music website, and to build a political party."
Earlier this month, Dotcom told his Twitter following that he planned to follow political aspirations and launch a political party in New Zealand. The 39 year-old plans to contest in next year's elections, campaigning to improve the country's IT infrastructure and push for "fair Internet pricing and no more data caps."
Kim Dotcom later confirmed the resignation on Twitter:
Mega was established as a replacement for Megaupload, a file-locker which was taken down by U.S. authorities. Federal agencies seized and shut down the file-sharing service at the beginning of 2012, which caused outrage after leaving millions of users stranded without access to their files, some of which were legitimately stored on the service.
Kumar says that the Mega service currently accounts for over four million users, a few thousand of which are paid customers. For now, the CEO is focusing on growing the service through registration, as "growth will be dependent on how quickly Mega can build out its product," according to Kumar.
The CEO says that Mega is focused around security and fully encrypted file sharing rather than storing and sharing IP infringing material. To this end, the "privacy company" is developing secure email services to run on its entirely non-U.S.-based server network in order to replace Lavabit, a secure email service which has recently closed down.
The Mega founder is currently battling a case brought forward by U.S. authorities to extradite him. Dotcom may have to wait until next year for the hearing, which will decide whether Dotcom will be extradited to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering through the Megaupload service.
The original hearing date was scheduled for last August, but complications and confusion around legal arguments have continually delayed the case.
The high-profile case resulted in an overhaul of New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). The agency was found to have unlawfully spied on Dotcom's activities as he had been granted residency. Recently, New Zealand police said that they will not charge anyone in the agency for illegally spying, because there was "a lack of criminal intent."