Mozilla appoints CMO Chris Beard as interim CEO

15 Apr 2014

Chris Beard, interim CEO of Mozilla. Photo by Eric Millette/Greylock Partners

Mozilla’s chief marketing officer Chris Beard has been named interim CEO of the company after previous CEO Brendan Eich resigned over criticism from equal rights groups over anti-gay marriage bill donations.

Eich had tendered his resignation 11 days ago after a brief stint at the helm of the company.

Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s executive chairwoman, announced Beard’s appointment in a blog post.

“In this time of transition there is no better person to lead us. Chris has one of the clearest visions of how to take the Mozilla mission and turn it into programs and activities and product ideas that I have ever seen.”

Beard is one of the company’s longest-serving senior employees, having joined Mozilla in 2004 from Sun MicroSystems to be the driving force behind Mozilla’s first browser, Firefox 1.0, perhaps the company’s most well-known product.

However, as Baker continues to highlight in her announcement, the company is fighting hard to clean its image after some of its own employees refused to work under Eich as CEO after it became apparent he had donated US$1,000 towards an anti-gay marriage bill in California in 2008.

Baker has also stated that the company will now be looking to find a permanent replacement for Eich as soon as possible, along with adding new board members.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic