Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photograph, August 21, 2012
|Born||July 4, 1961|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
Santa Clara University
Brendan Eich grew up in Pittsburgh; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Palo Alto, and he attended Ellwood P. Cubberley High School, was graduated in the class of 1979. 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 first MIPS R4000 port of GCC.
In early 1998, Eich co-founded the Mozilla project with Jamie Zawinski and others, creating the mozilla.org website, which 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.
On March 24, 2014, Eich was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation. Gary Kovacs, John Lilly, and Ellen Siminoff resigned from the Mozilla board prior to the appointment, some anonymously expressing disagreements with Eich's strategy and their desire for a CEO with experience in the mobile industry.
Some employees of Mozilla Foundation (a separate organization from Mozilla Corporation) tweeted calls for his resignation, with reference to his donation of $1,000 to California Proposition 8, which called for the banning of same-sex marriage in California. This donation had first made international news in 2012. Eich stood by his decision to fund the campaign, but wrote on his blog that he was sorry for "causing pain" and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla. Some of the activists created an online campaign against Eich, with online dating site OkCupid automatically displaying a message to Firefox users with information about Eich's donation, and suggesting that users switch to a different browser (although giving them a link to continue with Firefox). Others at the Mozilla Corporation spoke out on their blogs in his favor. Board members wanted him to stay in the company in a different role. On April 3, 2014, Eich resigned as CEO and left Mozilla; in his personal blog, he posted, "under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader". The resignation also made international news, and was viewed as due to Eich's opposition to same-sex marriage.
While some media reports have pegged Eich's resignation directly to controversies surrounding his donation to supporters of Proposition 8, others who worked at Mozilla Corporation at the time said there were other factors surrounding Eich's departure. They say Eich faced doubts over his leadership and managerial ability from board members during the CEO selection process, with some saying he is better suited in a science role within the organization. They also asserted that Eich failed to diffuse the donation controversy when it surfaced, which further inflamed the situation.
On January 20, 2016, the company released developer versions of its open-source Brave web browser, which blocked ads and trackers and included a micropayments system to offer users a choice between viewing selected ads or paying websites not to display them.
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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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| CEO of Mozilla Corporation
24 March 2014 – 3 April 2014