Mozilla finds itself in the midst of an unexpected leadership transition. Along with my fellow board members Reid Hoffman and Katharina Borchert, I am pleased to announce the next step in this transition: the appointment of Chris Beard to the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors, and as our interim CEO.
We began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago. Chris has been a Mozillian longer than most. He’s been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s. I have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade. This is an excellent time for Chris to bring his understanding of Mozilla to the Board.
We have also appointed Chris as interim CEO. 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. In the early years at Mozilla he was responsible for leading the Mozilla product, marketing and innovation teams. More recently, Chris was our CMO, leading user, developer and community engagement activities globally, including the initial launches of Firefox on Android and Firefox OS at MWC. Chris is the right person to lead us through this time and he is a strong candidate for CEO.
Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively. This is key for any leader at Mozilla, including our CEO, whether interim or otherwise. Chris’ experience and insight is highly aligned with our goals. We will continue to deliver Firefox OS to additional markets and form factors in 2014 as we demonstrate the unique user experiences that only the open Web can provide. We will continue to bring the richness and flexibility of the Web to Firefox users and will further integrate our services offerings.
The open Web and Mozilla are facing challenges that are very similar to those we faced when we first started Mozilla — centralized business models and technology with barriers to interoperability and new entrants. Today, online life is feature-rich, highly centralized and focused on a few giant organizations that exert control over almost all aspects of the experience. In this environment, there is a deep and urgent need for an open, exciting alternative that shows what the open Web brings to this setting.
Mozilla is building these kinds of alternatives for the world. It’s why we’re here. It’s why we gather together to focus on our shared mission and goals. We intend to use recent events as a catalyst to develop and expand Mozilla’s leadership. 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.
Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman
At Mozilla, we are dedicated to putting the power of the Web in people’s hands in support of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web. We’re pleased to announce today that we’re partnering with Medic Mobile, a leader in mHealth solutions for developing countries, to take that mission to the world’s most remote and underserved communities.
Medic Mobile pioneered the use of feature phones and text messaging to connect remote communities to health care. Their technology tracks outbreaks, schedules maternal health visits, monitors medicine stock, and connects villages with hospitals. The organization works in 20 countries spanning Africa, Asia and Latin America, and supports Community Health Workers overseeing 5 million people. Medic Mobile’s Hope Phones campaign, a cellphone recycling initiative, is one of many ways that the organization raises funds for new technology needed in the field.
Medic Mobile is the first community health app for Firefox OS and is now available in Firefox Marketplace. This early version allows health workers to document measles outbreaks from their phones, and more features will be added with future updates.
“We see harnessing the Web as our next big step, bringing location data, images, visualizations and analytics to the fingertips of Community Health Workers. Firefox OS is device-agnostic and provides a Web-based, low-cost platform for the developing world,” said Josh Nesbit, CEO of Medic Mobile.
“We look forward to expanding Medic Mobile’s reach through Firefox OS, and will continue pursuing regionalized and localized community apps like Medic Mobile that make the Web even more useful and relevant to people,” added Mary Ellen Muckerman, VP of Brand Strategy and Services at Mozilla.
We’re proud to partner with Medic Mobile, aligning our non-profit missions of using technology to change people’s lives.
For more information:
Over the past few days, we have received a lot of questions and seen a great number of media stories about the events surrounding Brendan Eich’s resignation from the role of CEO. Many of the media stories have incorrect facts, so we compiled the following FAQ as a resource for everyone to have access to the core facts.
Here is the announcement on Brendan Eich stepping down as Mozilla CEO.
Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?
A: No, Brendan Eich resigned. Brendan himself said:
“I have decided to resign as CEO effective April 3rd, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.”
Brendan Eich also posted a blog on this topic.
Q: Was Brendan asked to resign by the Board?
A: No. In fact, Board members and senior executives tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another role or to stay actively involved with Mozilla as a volunteer contributor. Brendan decided that it was better for himself and for Mozilla to sever all ties, at least for now.
Q: Was Brendan Eich forced out by employee pressure?
A: No. While these tweets calling for Brendan’s resignation were widely reported in the media, they came from only a tiny number of people: less than 10 of Mozilla’s employee pool of 1,000. None of the employees in question were in Brendan’s reporting chain or knew Brendan personally.
In contrast, support for Brendan’s leadership was expressed from a much larger group of employees, including those who felt disappointed by Brendan’s support of Proposition 8 but nonetheless felt he would be a good leader for Mozilla. Communication from these employees has not been covered in the media.
Q: Did Board members resign over Brendan’s Prop 8 donation?
A: No. Gary Kovacs and Ellen Siminoff had previously stated they had plans to leave as soon as Mozilla chose the the next CEO. John Lilly did not resign over Proposition 8 or any concerns about Brendan’s personal beliefs.
Q: Is Mozilla becoming a social activist organization?
A. No. Mozilla is committed to a single cause: keeping the Web free and open. Our specific goals as an organization are outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto. We are activists for the open Web. Mozilla has a long history of gathering people with a wide diversity of political and religious beliefs to work on the project.
Q: Is Mozilla pro-gay-marriage?
A. Like most of their peers in the US tech industry, Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Foundation a) have provided benefits and support to same-sex couples for a number of years and b) recently issued the following statement about marriage equality. The Mozilla Project — which is the overall umbrella for Mozilla’s global community — does not take stands on issues outside the scope of the Mozilla Manifesto.