Mozilla CEO Chris Beard to step down by the end of 2019 after five years in the role

2 min read

Yesterday, Chris Beard, the CEO of Mozilla, announced that he will be stepping down from his role by the end of this year. After an astounding tenure of more than fifteen years at Mozilla, Beard’s immediate plans are to take a break and spend more time with his family.

Chris Beard’s journey at Mozilla started back in 2004, just before Firefox 1.0 was released. Since then he has been deeply involved in almost every part of the business including product, marketing, innovation, communications, community, and user engagement.

In 2013, Beard worked as an Executive-in-Residence at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, gaining a deeper perspective on innovation and entrepreneurship. During this time he remained an advisor to Mozilla’s Chair, Mitchell Baker.

Chris Beard’s appointment as CEO came during a very “tumultuous time” for Mozilla. In 2013, when Gary Kovacs stepped down as Mozilla’s CEO, the company was extensively looking for a new CEO. In March 2014, the company appointed its CTO Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript as CEO. Just a few weeks in the role, Eich had to resign from his position after it was revealed that he has donated $1,000 to California Proposition 8, which called for the banning of same-sex marriage in California. Then in April 2014, Chris Beard was appointed as the interim CEO at Mozilla and was confirmed in the position on July 28.

Throughout his tenure as a “Mozillian”, Chris Beard has made countless contributions to the company. Listing his achievements, Mozilla’s Chair, Mitchell Baker wrote in a thanking post, “This includes reinvigorating our flagship web browser Firefox to be once again a best-in-class product. It includes recharging our focus on meeting the online security and privacy needs facing people today. And it includes expanding our product offerings beyond the browser to include a suite of privacy and security-focused products and services from Facebook Container and Enhanced Tracking Protection to Firefox Monitor.

Read also: Firefox now comes with a Facebook Container extension to prevent Facebook from tracking user’s web activity

Mozilla is now seeking a successor for Beard to lead the company. Mitchell Baker has agreed to step into an interim CEO role if the search continues beyond this year. Meanwhile, Chris Beard will continue to be an advisor to the board of directors and Baker. “And I will stay engaged for the long-term as an advisor to both Mitchell and the Board, as I’ve done before,” he wrote.

Many of Beard’s co-workers thanked him for his contribution to Mozilla:

You can read Beard’s announcement on Mozilla’s blog.

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