Mozilla picks one of its own to be its new CEO

Mozilla picks one of its own to be its new CEO

Summary: Mozilla has selected Chris Beard, who started with the company with the release of Firefox 1.0, to be its chief executive.

SHARE:
mozilla-offices-sf
As the company faces major problems, Mozilla picks an old hand as its new CEO. (Image: Mozilla)

Mozilla's executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced in a blog posting on Monday that the troubled company had finally picked an old hand — Chris Beard — for its new chief executive

chris-beard-mozilla-ceo-thumb
(Image: Mozilla)

Beard previously worked at Mozilla during the launch of Firefox 1.0. He was then Executive-in-Residence at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners until April, when he returned to Mozilla as interim CEO.

As Baker noted, "During his many years here, he at various times has had responsibility for almost every part of the business, including product, marketing, innovation, communications, community and user engagement."

Beard is being asked to lead an open source company that's been troubled due to the tenure of its last CEO, Brendan Eich. Eich's appointment and anti-gay marriage politics led to serious morale problems. When all was said and done, Eich served as CEO for a mere nine days.

In addition, the business faces a hard deadline to find new revenue streams before its Google advertising contract concludes later this year. With approximately 90 percent of its income depending on Google, and little reason to think that Google will renew the contract, Mozilla faces a make-it-or-break it crisis.

Baker had little to say about these issues in her announcement. Instead she focused on Mozilla's Firefox OS mobile operating system gaining new carrier customers.

Looking ahead, Baker talked in generalities. Baker said, "Today, online life is a combination of desktop, mobile, connected devices, cloud services, big data and social interactions. Mozilla connects all of these in an open system we call the web – a system that puts individuals in control, offers freedom and flexibility and that is trustworthy and fun."

She continued:

Mozilla builds products and communities that work to break down closed systems that limit online choice and opportunity. There is a huge need for this work today, as our digital lives become more centralized and controlled by just a few large companies. Toward that end, Mozilla builds products that put the user first, with a focus on openness, innovation and opportunity.

Chris has a keen sense of where Mozilla has been – and where we’re headed. He has unique experience connecting with every constituency that touches our products, including consumers, partners and community members. 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.

That all sounds good, but we need specifics on how Beard will solve Mozilla's morale and revenue problems before we can say if Mozilla's big internet dreams will have any chance of turning into internet reality.

Related stories:

Topics: Mobility, Browser, Open Source, Leadership

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

53 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Mozilla picks one of its own to be its new CEO

    Again.............
    Boothy_p
    • This time however,

      I am sure he has given the correct answers and holds the correct views on Mozilla's political correctness test. And his answers have been checked to ensure they are acceptable, whatever acceptable means.
      Low_tech
      • Why?

        Why does he want the job? Running an open source company that gives software away for free, and then has to listen to users cry and whine about their free software. No thanks.
        Sean Foley
      • Yes, the CPO approved this hire

        CPO =chief political officer
        otaddy
      • Political issue is only a side-cause

        No matter who is there, he must have the solution about how to make money from the FREE Firefox.
        SmilingGuy
        • Ah ah ah...he or she needs a solution

          But yes, if Google pulls support, they are doomed and I don't see anyone else giving them that kind of loot.

          Well Marissa might buy them...why not, she's gotta spend that Alibaba found money somewhere.
          otaddy
          • Don't you think she should?

            $100 million isn't a major amount of cash for a company of Yahoo's size. It's not chump change, but they can easily afford it, and will probably see significant returns right off the bat. Plus, they get major influence over a growing mobile OS.
            x I'm tc
        • Politics is not a side issue, it's the main issue there...

          If you don't toe the line with their politics, you are out. Being fired for not agreeing with the homosexual activists says that IS the only issue that matters. When they fire the inventor of JavaScript, your technical ability means nothing to the company and your acquiescence to their politics is EVERYTHING.
          Redraider
      • Spare me

        People who aren't Google-impaired fools looked up what exactly was that "Proposition 8" business that Brendan Eich had contributed his $1000 to: a well-funded, widespread and cruel anti-gay campaign. Political correctness has nothing to with being against well-funded bigotry and ignorance, as well as the people supporting it.
        JustCallMeBC
        • Pathetic

          It is pathetic when intolerance reaches a level where a man cannot express his legitimate opinions and support what he and a very large percentage of Americans believe to be right. "Gay Marriage" is deeply and fundamentally offensive to a very large percentage of our population. That does NOT make them "cruel", "anti gay" or "bigots". These kinds of attacks reflect a very high level of intolerance for those who are exercising their fundamental and indisputable rights to express their opinions and support the causes they believe in. Gay marriage is an entirely new, and to many of us ridiculous and immoral and offensive concept that completely flies in the face of our Judeo Christian values that roots going back many thousands of years. Suggesting that opposition to the absurd concept of gays playing house should be regarded on the same level and by the same name as marriage, an institution as old as the time that has it's purpose in procreation and continuation of the species is to many of us patently absurd, and offensive.
          **owly**
          • Get a 10 yr old to explain my post

            Because obviously you didn't comprehend it, especially the "campaign" part.
            JustCallMeBC
          • What about he campaign part?

            Supporting a campaign IS part of expressing his legitimate opinions and support. So what is your point? And NO homosexual activist was involved in the campaign against Prop 8?
            Redraider
          • Exactly

            The "tolerant" ones that are being intolerant, as per their very definition of it.
            Redraider
          • Rationale of a bigot

            I suggest you actually read the Bible and find the passages in the New Testament (you proclaim to be a Christian, correct?) and find the specific passages whereby Jesus condemns homosexuality. Guess what? They don't exist! Try not to hide behind Christianity in order to disguise your bigotry.
            john.jay.moore@...
        • Because you don't like it doesn't mean it's cruel.

          "Political correctness has nothing to with being against well-funded bigotry and ignorance,"

          LOL! the ONLY thing that says it's bigotry and ignorance IS BECAUSE of political correctness. It it wasn't about political correctness, you wouldn't be able say it is cruel or bigotry.
          Redraider
      • A good thing

        You do realize that what happened with Mozilla was a good thing, something to be encouraged about (i.e., 'the system worked')? Right?

        We should all be glad that the power of free speech, bolstered by the Internet, is slowly but surely wiping away the stain of bigotry from the halls of power.
        x I'm tc
        • Huh?

          Engaging in bigotry in the name of being against bigotry does not eliminate bigotry.
          Redraider
        • And Huh?

          Limiting free speech in the name of promoting free speech is still limiting free speech. Because you don't like what he said doesn't give you the right to prohibit him from saying it. That is antithetical to free speech.
          Redraider
        • No

          "You do realize that what happened with Mozilla was a good thing, something to be encouraged about (i.e., 'the system worked')? Right?"

          I realize it's bad, as do most people.
          Redraider
      • Yeah...

        "I am sure he has given the correct answers and holds the correct views on Mozilla's political correctness test. "

        Or else he is toast, totally irrespective of his technical knowledge or skills.
        Redraider