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Mozilla Hires Interim CEO

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
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Chris Beard
Chris Beard  (Source:LinkedIn)

Officials from software company Mozilla, known for creating the popular web browser Firefox, named its interim CEO Monday, not long after Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO last month when it revealed he donated to a Proposition 8 campaign in 2008.

CNET reports Mozilla named its former chief marketing officer, Chris Beard, a board member, as its interim CEO. Beard worked for Mozilla for years and has been in leadership roles over seeing products, innovation and marketing, including for products Firefox and Android. He also was involved with the Firefox 1.0 launch in 2004.

"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," Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote in a blog post. She said Beard is "strong candidate for CEO."

Eich was Mozilla’s CEO for just 11 days before he stepped down from his position.

Soon after it was announced Eich would be the nonprofit’s CEO, it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to a campaign supporting the anti-gay measure Proposition 8 in 2008. Officials from Mozilla did heavy damage control, issuing statements that LGBT employees were treated fairly. Eich wrote his own blog post, saying he would treat LGBT workers fairly but never specifically said he supports same-sex marriage, even in the few interviews he gave during his short time as CEO.

The outrage caused popular dating website OkCupid to urge its users to boycott Mozilla’s Firefox, asking them to use a different browser.

"Appointing Chris as our interim CEO is a first step in this process. Next steps include a long-term plan for the CEO role, adding board members who can help Mozilla succeed and continuing our efforts to actively support each Mozillian to reach his or her full potential as a leader," Baker said.

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