Mozilla Appoints Chris Beard As Interim CEO, Is "Strong Candidate" For Permanent Position

Mozilla promoted its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chris Beard, to the position of interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing co-founder Brendan Eich after he stepped down amid a controversy that swept through the Internet. Beard has been with Mozilla since the early days and is considered a "strong candidate" to fill the roll permanently. He's also joining Mozilla's Board of Directors.

"Chris has been a Mozillian longer than most. He’s been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s," said Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman. "I have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade. This is an excellent time for Chris to bring his understanding of Mozilla to the Board. We have also appointed Chris as interim CEO. In this time of transition there is no better person to lead us."

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The need for a new chief came about after Eich decided to relinquish his newly appointed position amid a firestorm of criticism stemming from a $1,000 donation he made in support of Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot aimed at banning same-sex marriage. In addition to co-founding Mozilla, Eich also created the JavaScript scripting language.

Mozilla's been eager to move on from the controversy, though it's being careful in its search of a permanent replacement. Other than Beard, there haven't been any publicly named candidates.

"More recently, Chris was our CMO, leading user, developer and community engagement activities globally, including the initial launches of Firefox on Android and Firefox OS at MWC. Chris is the right person to lead us through this time and he is a strong candidate for CEO," Baker added.