Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photograph, August 21, 2012
|Born||1961 (age 53–54)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Santa Clara University
Brendan Eich received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University. 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. He then worked for three years at MicroUnity Systems Engineering writing microkernel and DSP code, and doing the very first MIPS R4000 port of GCC.
In early 1998, Eich co-founded the Mozilla project with Mitchell Baker, creating the website mozilla.org that was meant to manage open-source contributions to the Netscape source code. He served as Mozilla's chief architect. 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.
On March 24, 2014, Eich was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation. Gary Kovacs, John Lilly and Ellen Siminoff resigned from the Mozilla board after the appointment, some expressing disagreements with Eich's strategy and their desire for a CEO with experience in the mobile industry. Critics of Eich within Mozilla tweeted to gay activists that he had donated $1,000 to California Proposition 8, leading Eich to say on his blog that he was sorry for “causing pain” and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla. Gay activists created an online shaming campaign against Eich, with OkCupid declaring they would block access to the Firefox browser unless he stepped down. Others at the Mozilla Corporation spoke out on their blogs in his favor. Board members wanted him to stay in the company with a different role.
On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO and resigned from working at Mozilla. In his personal blog, Eich posted that "under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader." Andrew Sullivan said of Eich's departure that "there is not a scintilla of evidence that he has ever discriminated against a single gay person at Mozilla" and the episode "should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society." Conor Friedersdorf argued in The Atlantic that "the general practice of punishing people in business for bygone political donations is most likely to entrench powerful interests and weaken the ability of the powerless to challenge the status quo".
Eich is the CEO of Brave Software, an internet security company which has raised $2.5 million in early funding from angel investors. The company's co-founders include Brian Bondy, who worked on Firefox and Khan Academy, and Kevin Grandon, who worked on Firefox OS and WebVR. The company's employees include Marshall Rose, a network protocol engineer, and Yan Zhu, who worked on SecureDrop and Tor.
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Brendan Eich, a co-founder and long-time technical leader of the Mozilla project, will become the chief technical officer of the Mozilla Corporation.
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- "On mobile devices, however, Firefox ranks 13th, with less than 0.1% share, according to Net Applications" Note Net Applications rated Firefox on mobile at 0.01% in Nov 2013 and 0.68% in Jul 2014
- "Three Mozilla board members—including former CEOs—step down [Updated]". Ars Technica.
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- "Andrew Sullivan Blows Colbert’s Mind with Defense of Brendan Eich". mediaite.com. 10 April 2014.
- "Andrew Sullivan sparks ire of gay community over defense of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich". Tech Times.
- Conor Friedersdorf. "Mozilla's Gay-Marriage Litmus Test Violates Liberal Values". The Atlantic.
- "Brave Software Raises $2.5 Million And Expands Technical Team". The Business Journals.
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|CEO of Mozilla Corporation
24 March 2014 – 3 April 2014