Brendan Eich

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Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich Mozilla Foundation official photo.jpg
Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photograph, August 21, 2012
Born 1961 (age 52–53)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Santa Clara University
Known for JavaScript
Website
brendaneich.com

Brendan Eich (/ˈk/; born 1960 or 1961)[1] is an American technologist and creator of the JavaScript scripting language. He co-founded the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation, and served as the Mozilla Corporation's chief technical officer and briefly its chief executive officer.[2]

Early life[edit]

Brendan Eich received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University.[3] He received his master's degree in 1985 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Eich started his career at Silicon Graphics, working for seven years on operating system and network code.[4] He then worked for five years at MicroUnity Systems Engineering writing microkernel and DSP code, and doing the very first MIPS R4000 port of GCC.[4]

Netscape and JavaScript[edit]

He started work at Netscape Communications Corporation in April 1995. Hired originally to put Scheme "in the browser",[5] Eich instead created a new language, JavaScript for the Netscape Navigator Web browser. The first version was completed in ten days in order to accommodate the Navigator 2.0 Beta release schedule,[5][6] and was called Mocha, which was later renamed LiveScript in September 1995 and later JavaScript in the same month.[7] Eich continued to oversee the development of SpiderMonkey, the specific implementation of JavaScript in Navigator, until 2011.[8]

Mozilla[edit]

In early 1998, he helped found the Mozilla project, with a website at mozilla.org, that was meant to manage open-source contributions to the Netscape source code. He served as Mozilla's chief architect.[9] AOL bought Netscape in 1999. After AOL shut down the Netscape browser unit in July 2003, Eich helped spin out the Mozilla Foundation.

In August 2005, after serving as Lead Technologist and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mozilla Foundation, Eich became CTO of the newly founded Mozilla Corporation, meant to be the Mozilla Foundation's for-profit arm.[10]

Eich contributed to the creation of the Rust programming language at Mozilla in 2012.[11]

CEO appointment and resignation[edit]

On March 24, 2014, Eich was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation.[12] His appointment sparked controversy over a $1,000 political donation Eich had made in 2008 to the campaign for California Proposition 8, which sought to establish that, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." [13] This had been noted publicly two years prior, in March 2012, and was attacked at the time in social media by gay activists, particularly in Twitter.[13] After his appointment to CEO, the controversy reemerged. In the ensuing public debate, OKCupid and two gay application developers called for a boycott of the company.[14][15] A number of Mozilla Foundation employees asked him to step down, while others at the Mozilla Corporation spoke out on their blogs in his favor.[16][17] Three of Mozilla Corporation's six directors resigned just prior to Eich's appointment,[18][19] which the Mozilla Foundation attributed to "a variety of reasons. Two of the board members had been planning to leave for some time, one since January and one explicitly at the end of the CEO search, regardless of the person selected."[20] On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO and resigned from working at Mozilla.[21][22] In his personal blog, Eich posted that "under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader."[23][24] Following Eich's resignation, the National Organization for Marriage called for its own boycott of Mozilla, due to the inability of him to hold his own view.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lohr, Steve (1996-09-09). "Part Artist, Part Hacker And Full-Time Programmer". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Swisher, Kara. "Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board". Recode. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lohr, Steve (1996-09-09). "Part Artist, Part Hacker And Full-Time Programmer". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b "Brendan Eich and JavaScript", Inventors, About .
  5. ^ a b Saternos, Casimir (2014-03-28). Client-Server Web Apps with JavaScript and Java. O'Reilly Media. pp. 32–. ISBN 9781449369293. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Severance, Charles (February 2012). "JavaScript: Designing a Language in 10 Days". Computer (magazine). Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "JavaScript: General introduction". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  8. ^ Eich, Brendan (June 21, 2011). "New JavaScript Engine Module Owner". BrendanEich.com. 
  9. ^ Seibel, Peter (2009-09-16). Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming. Apress. pp. 132–. ISBN 9781430219484. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mozilla Foundation Forms New Organization to Further the Creation of Free, Open Source Internet Software, Including the Award-Winning Mozilla Firefox Browser". Mozilla Foundation. 2005-08-03. Retrieved 2011-02-12. "Brendan Eich, a co-founder and long-time technical leader of the Mozilla project, will become the chief technical officer of the Mozilla Corporation." 
  11. ^ "Original Rust authors", Mozilla, GitHub .
  12. ^ "Leadership Changes" (blog). Mozilla. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Netburn, Deborah (2012-04-04). "Brendan Eich's Prop. 8 contribution gets Twittersphere buzzing". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  14. ^ Johnston, Ian (April 1, 2014). "OkCupid calls for Firefox boycott to protest anti-gay marriage CEO Brendan Eich". Independent. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ Byrdum, Sunnivie (March 26, 2014). "OkCupid calls for Firefox boycott to protest anti-gay marriage CEO Brendan Eich". The Advocate. 
  16. ^ Machkovech, Sam (March 27, 2014). "Mozilla employees tell Brendan Eich he needs to "step down"". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ Koehler, Christie (March 24, 2014). "On Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla". Subfictional Studios. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  18. ^ Barr, Alistair (March 28, 2014). "Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  19. ^ Shankland, Stephen (April 1, 2014). "Mozilla CEO Eich says gay-marriage firestorm could hurt Firefox". CNET. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ Sharwood, Simon (March 31, 2014). "Mozilla denies reported claims of board rift over new chief Eich". The Register (UK). Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ Baker, Mitchell. "Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO". The Mozilla Blog. 
  22. ^ "FAQ on CEO Resignation". Mozilla. April 5, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  23. ^ Kim, Susana (April 3, 2014). "Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns After Protests from Gay Marriage Supporters". ABC News. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Brendan Eich steps down as Mozilla CEO". blog.mozilla.org. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ Blake, Aaron (April 4, 2014). "Anti-gay marriage group calls for boycott of Mozilla Firefox". Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ McAllister, Neil (April 8, 2014). "Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott". The Register. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gary Kovacs
CEO of Mozilla Corporation
24 March 2014 – 3 April 2014
Succeeded by
Chris Beard