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.
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