24 March 2014

Mozilla News

A quick note to update everyone on Mozilla news. Our Board of Directors has appointed me CEO of Mozilla, with immediate effect. I’m honored and humbled, and I promise to do everything I can to lead Mozilla to new heights in this role.

I would first like to thank Jay Sullivan for his contributions to Mozilla and to the Web. He has been a passionate force at Mozilla whose leadership, especially during the last year, has been important to our success, in particular with Firefox OS. Jay is helping with the CEO transition and will then leave to pursue new opportunities.

My co-founder and 15-year partner in Mozilla, Mitchell Baker, remains active as Executive Chairwoman of Mozilla. I could not do what I do for Mozilla without Mitchell, and I like to think she feels the same way about me ;-). We have worked together well since she took on management of the tiny mozilla.org staff fragment embedded in Netscape. At that time I was “acting manager” (more like method acting manager :-P). I’ve learned a lot from Mitchell and my other peers at Mozilla about management since then!

Mozilla is about people-power on the Web and Internet — putting individual users, who create as well as consume, above all other agendas. In this light, people-fu trumps my first love, which you might say is math-fu, code-fu or tech-fu (if I may appropriate the second syllable from kung fu). People around the world are our ultimate cause at Mozilla, as well as source of inspiration and ongoing help doing what we do.

Speaking of people a bit more, I’ll take this moment to introduce Li Gong as my incoming COO. Li set up Mozilla China and our Taipei office, and he has been a crucial partner in building up Firefox OS. If you don’t know him yet, you will probably get a chance if you pass through our headquarters, as Li will be moving back to the US to help manage here.

Mozilla remains a global public benefit organization, so I’m sure I will see all of you more as I travel: to all of our offices (I have not yet been to Beijing or Taipei), to the places where we are bringing Firefox OS and the $25 smartphone, and everywhere Mozillians, developers, and others are working to make the Web better for everyone.

/be

8 Responses to “Mozilla News”

  1. Doug Belshaw says:

    Great news! \o/

    I guess you need to update that ‘About Brendan’ bit in your sidebar again. :-)

  2. Brendan Eich says:

    Just updated… WordPress a maze of twisty little passages, at least for my blog.

    /be

  3. Congratulations.

    You will undoubtedly do great things as new CEO and we will all benefit from your efforts.

    Being promoted from the inside may, however, make you less able than others to make a serious evaluation of the reality of the Mozilla organization, distinct from what Mozilla wants to think about itself. Notably, it may be hard for you to see the chasm between your words, which reflect Mozilla’s vision of itself, and the appearance of things from outside Mozilla.

    You say: “Mozilla is about people-power on the Web and Internet — putting individual users, who create as well as consume, above all other agendas.” which sound great, and is very much what Mozilla wants to believe about itself. Yet there is little evidence you ever ask ‘individual users’ what their agendas might be.

    Take the Mozilla web site. Imagine you are a user wanting to express your agenda, what do you do? There is *no* contact point. The ‘Contact Us’ links give a bunch of postal addresses and ‘twitter’ or ‘IRC’ links, no feedback@mozilla address of any kind. The Board of Directors similarly has *no* contact point (and when asked, your press office points to the Firefox browser feedback site: https://input.mozilla.org/en-US/feedback which shows they do not have a clue). It seems Mozilla is unprepared to hear from its ‘users’ and leadership feels no need to be contactable.

    Similarly, you have just launched Firefox OS phones, which are reaching a whole new group of users, many of whom don’t know about Mozilla, Firefox, or even that there is anything special about their phone. You are also hoping to start a new kind of relationship with outside developers who might develop apps for the platform. How do you put these users’ and developers’ concerns ‘above all other agendas’? How do you even know their concerns? Are you doing any inquiry as to how they feel and what they want or do you presume you are putting their agendas above all else because you consider their needs as you understand them?

    Mozilla talks endlessly about its ‘community’ which is to its credit. However, there is little evidence that it has really talked to the users outside that core community to find out what their agendas might be. You might, as newly ascendant CEO, give that some thought.

    cheers,
    ~adrian

    PS And for heaven’s sake get some contact mails ceo@, board@, up on the web sites. One used to be able to contact Steve Jobs directly with concerns and that led to many great things that were on users’ agendas.

  4. Boris Hirsi says:

    The second msg I can see “awaiting for moderation” is not mine. I would never call you a pig and I have not posted it. But that tells me that ýou have serious security problem in your blog.

  5. Doug Belshaw says:

    I wrote my first comment before knowing anything about Proposition 8. I’m still excited about the inventor of JavaScript leading Mozilla, but the fallout from your appointment as CEO saddens me and seems detrimental to the project.

  6. Brendan Eich says:

    Mozilla’s load balancers had a bug that interacted badly with WordPress. It was fixed after I left Mozilla, I’m told.

    /be



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About Brendan

Brendan Eich co-founded mozilla.org and served as CEO for Mozilla. He is widely known for his contributions to the evolution of the Web, including inventing JavaScript and spearheading its ongoing standardization and evolution.