Skip to main content

Mozilla executive team shaken up, Brendan Eichs named CEO

Almost a year after Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs announced plans to step down, the web company has revealed that co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich will take his place.

Eich, also the creator of the JavaScript programming language, has grown Mozilla from an idea in 1998 to one of today's top browsers. Now he takes control of the company.

"Mozilla is about people-power on the Web and Internet—putting individual users, who create as well as consume, above all other agendas," the new CEO wrote in a blog post. "People around the world are our ultimate cause at Mozilla, as well as source of inspiration and ongoing help doing what we do."

This regime change also includes a few executive shakeups: Li Gong, who set up the Mozilla China and Taipei offices, has been named COO, and will take on a number of new functions like cloud services, IT, marketplace, mobile and research, and platform engineering.

Co-founder and Mozilla's first CEO, Mitchell Baker, meanwhile, will hold onto her position as executive chairwoman.

"Brendan has been an absolutely foundational element of Mozilla and our success for the past 15 years," she wrote in a separate blog post. "The parallels between Mozilla's history and our future are very strong, and I am very happy with this combination of continuity and change to help us continue to fulfill our mission."

Kovacs took over Mozilla in October 2010, focusing much of his attention on the transition to mobile—a market Mozilla joined in early 2013 when it launched the Firefox OS at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress.

At this year's event, the company turned up the heat on its competitors by showing off seven new commercial handsets that will be available around the world. Mozilla also announced plans to start a "flood" of $25 smartphones, which Eich referenced in his welcome speech.

Eich takes the place of Jay Sullivan, previously senior vice president of products, who became acting CEO and chief operating officer in Kovac's absence. Sullivan intends to stick around through Eich's transition, but will then leave the company after six years to "pursue new opportunities."