Mozilla Appoints Chris Beard As Permanent CEO

Mozilla Corporation, maker of the Firefox browser and Firefox OS for mobile phones, has appointed interim CEO Chris Beard as its permanent chief executive officer.

The company,  will hope that the appointment will settle the controversy, revealed by Chairwoman Mitchell Baker in a blog post, will end the controversay that has surrounded Mozilla in recent months.

New Boss

“I am pleased to announce that Chris Beard has been appointed CEO of Mozilla Corp,” wrote Baker. “The Mozilla board has reviewed many internal and external candidates – and no one we met was a better fit.”

Beard is no stranger to the world of Mozilla, having first joined the organisation in October 2004. He stayed until June 2013 as the chief marketing officer, then moved to venture capital firm Greylock Partners for a year, before he was appointed as interim chief executive of Mozilla in April this year.

“Beard has been with Mozilla since 2004, just before we shipped Firefox 1.0 – and he’s been deeply involved in every aspect of Mozilla ever since,” wrote Baker. “Over the years, Chris has led many of Mozilla’s most innovative projects. We have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade.”

“Chris has a keen sense of where Mozilla has been – and where we’re headed,” wrote Baker. “There’s simply no better person to lead Mozilla as we extend our impact from Firefox on the desktop to the worlds of mobile devices and services. Chris, welcome back.”

Eich Controversy

Chris Beard rejoined Mozilla as its interim chief executive at a difficult time. His appointment came just after previous CEO Brendan Eich resigned on 3 April.

Brendan Eich had been appointed as Mozilla’s CEO just a week earlier. But his appointment was controversial, despite the fact that Eich seemed to possess all the right qualities. Eich had co-founded Mozilla in 1998, after spending three years at Netscape. When AOL shut down the Netscape browser unit in July 2003, he helped spin out the Mozilla Foundation as an independent entity.

Eich was also the CTO of Mozilla and is the inventor of JavaScript.

But Mozilla employees and some public figures made clear that his politics weren’t in sync with the ethos of the company, which prides itself on openness.

Their concerns was that – back in 2008 – Eich had made a $1,000 donation to the Proposition 8 campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California.

When he was appointed CEO, Eich quickly promised he would do all he could to foster equality for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) employees at Mozilla, as well as promote equality throughout the company.

However when that promise was not enough for critics, Eich handed in his resignation.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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