Mozilla appoints Chris Beard as interim CEO

Open source software provider Mozilla has announced the appointment of Chris Beard as interim CEO, following the departure of Brendan Eich earlier this month. Beard, a long-term Mozilla employee and formerly the firm’s chief marketing officer, will also join the board in the wake of Eich’s forced departure after just 11 days in the job, brought about by controversy over his political views.

In a blog post on Monday, Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker said Beard was a strong candidate for the full-time CEO position but hinted that a wider recruitment process for the role is set to begin.

“Mozilla finds itself in the midst of an unexpected leadership transition,” Baker wrote. “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.

The CEO baton has changed hands several times in the past year. In April 2013, immediately in the wake of a high profile deal between Mozilla and some of the world’s leading mobile operators being announced at Mobile World Congress, former CEO Gary Kovacs announced his resignation. Following Kovacs’ departure, less than two and a half years into the job, COO Jay Sullivan took the position on an interim basis.

Sullivan made way for Eichs in late March but details emerged almost immediately of a donation made by Eichs to a campaign against gay marriage in 2008, causing a furore among the Mozilla community which led to his resignation.

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