Brendan Eich is the new Mozilla Foundation CEO

Brendan Eich Mozilla Foundation official photo
Brendan Eich Mozilla Foundation official photo

The Mozilla Foundation board of directors announced that Brendan Eich (Photo ©Darcy Padilla) has been appointed Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Eich is one of the co-founders of the foundation and in recent years has been working as Chief Technology Officer. He replaces Gary Kovacs, who almost a year ago announced his intention to leave his office.

Born in 1961, Brendan Eich earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University in 1986 and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He worked for Silicon Graphics and then to MicroUnity Systems Engineering on various projects.

The breakthrough came in 1995, when Brendan Eich started working for Netscape Communications Corporation. There he designed the JavaScript programming language. When the commercial project for the Netscape browser failed, Eich helped to start an open source project that led to the birth of Mozilla Foundation.

As CEO, Brendan Eich will have to face the coming challenges of the foundation. Firefox is the second most widely used browser in the world but, even if the percentage of users is growing at the expense of MSIE, the adoption of Google Chrome is growing as well.

Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization but revenue is important to continue the development of Firefox and other products. A key source of revenue comes from the agreement with Google to use it as the default source for the search in Firefox. The agreement with Google will expire at the end of 2014 and the renewal will be an important moment.

The Firefox browser is the flagship product of the Mozilla Foundation but Firefox OS is considered to be the product of the future. The mobile device market is still growing but is dominated by Android and iOS, so much that even Windows is struggling despite the huge investments from Microsoft.

Will Brendan Eich be able to keep the Firefox browser growing and make Firefox OS a significant operating system? Eich has a wealth of experience both from technical and management point of view so he certainly has very clear ideas about what to do. Considering the Mozilla Foundation’s open approach in a world where wars around intellectual property are fierce, it’s important that he’s successful.

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