Mozilla taps Greylock Partners VC exec as interim CEO

Mozilla taps Greylock Partners VC exec as interim CEO

Summary: Mozilla asserts it is moving full steam ahead following the firestorm that ended with the ouster of Brendan Eich.


Just over a week following the resignation of CEO Brendan Eich, Mozilla already has an interim chief executive officer in place.

The software company behind popular web browser Firefox has enlisted Chris Beard, an executive-in-residence at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. He has also been appointed to the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors.

Beard also has a considerable history with Mozilla given that he has also served as the company's chief marketing officer, chief innovation officer, and vice president of products.

Mozilla's executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker noted in Monday's announcement that this marks the first of several steps in the search for a new CEO while also tacking on additional board members to bolster internal leadership.

"Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively," Baker said in prepared remarks. "This is key for any leader at Mozilla, including our CEO, whether interim or otherwise. Chris’ experience and insight is highly aligned with our goals."

Eich had only been chief of the company behind popular web browser Firefox for a very brief term. Mozilla had been searching for a new CEO since Gary Kovacs, who came on-board in 2010, departed almost a year ago.

But it soon came to light, or rather resurfaced, that Eich had made a $1,000 donation to the campaign supporting Proposition 8 amid the 2008 Presidential election. Prop. 8 sought to ban same-sex marriage in California.

Although he initially rebuffed criticism about his donations and politics, Eich soon expressed sorrow "at having caused pain" to Firefox users offended by his donation.

Those sentiments weren't nearly enough for Internet users and even Mozilla's board members alike -- three of whom were initially reported to have jumped ship over Eich's appointment.

Amid Eich's resignation, Mozilla's board apologized as Baker wrote at the time, "We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act."

Topics: CXO, Software, Enterprise 2.0, Tech Industry

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  • Disappointed

    I was looking forward to Newt Gingrich as the next CEO of the Mozilla Foundation.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • That one wasn't going to happen

      1. I know of no evidence he's ever managed anything but the US House of Representatives, which is considerably different than managing a software firm; and in the end, he had to resign his House seat due to scandal.

      2. He has a 30+ year history of confrontational, divisive politics in his background. If Brendan Eich was forced out for making a $1000 contribution to a single controversial ballot initiative campaign, what makes anyone think that Newt Gingrich would fare better?
      John L. Ries
  • Is that USA?

    I had this weird idea that your constitution guaranteed your right to free speech and thought....whether it is popular or not. Or did I not read it correctly?