Mozilla Appoints Andreas Gal As New CTO

The current vice president of Mobile Engineering replaces Brendan Eich, who was first promoted to the CEO position, then resigned

Mozilla has chosen its mobile guru Andreas Gal to be its next Chief Technology Officer, succeeding Brendan Eich who was promoted from the position to CEO in March.

However Eich was forced to resign two weeks later amid accusations that he contributed $1,000 to a campaign against gay marriage in California in 2008. Chris Beard has since been appointed interim CEO, but Mozilla had yet to find a new CTO.

“Andreas is widely recognized as an authority on web technology and as a strong technical leader,” said Beard in a blog post. “He joined Mozilla over six years ago to apply his Ph.D. research to significantly advance the Javascript engine that powers Firefox with just-in-time compilation, and since then has played key roles in virtually all of our major technology initiatives, including Firefox OS, Rust, Servo, PDF.js and Shumway.”

Promoting from within

Gal was born in Germany, and first became interested in open source development while he was still at school. He joined Mozilla in 2008, and quickly progressed to the position of research director. In 2011, Gal co-founded the Boot-to-Gecko project, which later became Firefox OS.

andreas_mAccording to the CEO, Gal will have responsibility for leading technical decision making, representing Mozilla externally on technology, and managing its R&D programs. He will also continue to serve as VP of Mobile Engineering, looking after the development of Firefox OS.

“Mozilla is an unusual organization. We are not just a software company making a product. We are also a global community of people with a shared goal to build and further the Web, the world’s largest and fastest-growing technology ecosystem,” wrote Gal on his blog.

“Once Mozilla led the way with Firefox, market pressures and open standards quickly forced competitors to implement successful technology as well. The result has been an unprecedented pace of innovation that has already displaced competing proprietary technology ecosystems on the desktop.

“We are on the cusp of the same open Web revolution happening in mobile as well, and Mozilla’s goal is to accelerate the advance of mobile by tirelessly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the Web.”

At the moment, it’s not clear who will become Mozilla’s next permanent CEO, but the organisation is likely to take its time and evaluate plenty of candidates given it employed an ‘interim CEO’ for more than a year following the departure of Gary Kovacs.

Are you a Firefox enthusiast? Take our quiz!