Eich takes over for acting CEO and chief operating officer Jay Sullivan as the permanent replacement for Gary Kovacs, who resigned the CEO position in the spring of 2013. Sullivan will leave Mozilla after a transition period and be replaced by Li Gong.
Eich The Right Man For The Job
Eich has long been the heart of everything that Mozilla touches. He was the chief architect at Mozilla.org in 1998 and on the Mozilla Foundation board of directors. He became CTO of the Mozilla Corporation 2005. Mozilla and Firefox are what they are today thanks largely to Eich. He is a staunch proponent of the open Web—as is everyone at Mozilla—and has been the leading force in getting Firefox OS off the ground for smartphones.
What makes Eich the perfect leader at Mozilla is that he is not a businessman. Yes, as CEO he’ll be responsible for Mozilla’s business partnerships, and that’ll include renewing a contract that keeps Google as the default search engine on Firefox—a deal, by the way, that serves as Mozilla’s primary source of revenue. But Mozilla has never been a corporation all that interested in money. It is, by definition, a non-profit company that focuses its energy on standards and development of the open Web.
By promoting Eich to CEO, Mozilla will remain a tech-centered organization focused on the Web. Mozilla’s strength is pushing the boundaries of what is possible through the browser using HTML5 and other open development practices and principles. The HTML5 Web APIs that Mozilla created for Firefox OS are a key example of that.
Eich ensures continuity of Mozilla’s mission which is important in a technology world that increasingly sees companies that want to lock consumers and developers into walled garden loops of devices and services like iOS, Android and Windows.