Mozilla CEO to Step Down

Chris Beard announced today that he will step down from his role as Mozilla CEO at the end of 2019, ending a five-year run.

“Today our products, technology and policy efforts are stronger and more resonant in the market than ever, and we have built significant new organizational capabilities and financial strength to fuel our work,” he writes in the announcement. “From our new privacy-forward product strategy to initiatives like the State of the Internet we’re ready to seize the tremendous opportunity and challenges ahead to ensure we’re doing even more to put people in control of their connected lives and shape the future of the internet for the public good.”

I’m not sure all of that is true: Mozilla’s flagship product, the Firefox web browser, accounts for just 9.4 percent on the desktop, compared to about 15 percent three years ago. (Firefox’s mobile share has actually tripled in the same time frame, but to just 1.3 percent.)

But he’s right about much of that: Mozilla’s stance on privacy, in particular, is both right and smart, and it’s even inspired Apple to do the same with its own web browser, Safari. But whatever: Beard is moving on, and he says that Mozilla is “an exceptionally better place today,” and that the fundamentals are in place for continued positive momentum “for years to come.”

Beard will step down at the end of 2019, and he says he will assist the firm in finding a replacement. Should that replacement not be named by January 1, Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker will step in as interim CEO for the duration.

“I want to thank Chris from the bottom of my heart for everything he has done for Mozilla,” Baker wrote in her own post. “Chris’ tenure has seen the development of important organization capabilities and given us a much stronger foundation on which to build. 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.”

It’s not yet clear what Beard will do after he leaves Mozilla, but Baker also noted that he will become an advisor to the Mozilla board.

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Conversation 7 comments

  • martinusv2

    Premium Member
    29 August, 2019 - 1:27 pm

    <p>Kinda Google Chrome crushing competition. Reminds me of Microsoft with IE at the time. </p>

  • Thom77

    29 August, 2019 - 2:16 pm

    <p>Mozilla stance on privacy is at best questionable,much like Apple's, as both keep getting caught allowing or doing invasive things … and their stance on free speech is even worse with their initatives fighting "fake news" after Trumps election which I guarantee doesnt include any MSM that is the biggest propogater of it.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

    • chocolate starfish

      29 August, 2019 - 4:22 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#452774">In reply to Thom77:</a></em></blockquote><p>Questionable privacy? Caught doing invasive things? Stance on free speech?</p><p><br></p><p>Can you elaborate.</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        30 August, 2019 - 3:01 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#452810">In reply to chocolate starfish:</a></em></blockquote><p>They <em>were </em>caught inserting the add-on to accompany the Mr. Robot TV show in America. It was wrong and they admitted it.</p>

  • longhorn

    Premium Member
    29 August, 2019 - 4:58 pm

    <p>Firefox 3 series November 2009 32.21% market share</p><p></p><p><br></p><p>Firefox 29 kill old UI introduce less customizable "Australis"</p><p>Firefox 57 kill add-on ecosystem and move to WebExtensions only (Chrome extensions), even less customizable</p><p><br></p><p>Firefox 60 series July 2019 9.52% market share</p><p></p><p><br></p><p>I don't think Firefox is stronger than ever. They lost two thirds of their userbase last 10 years. Mobile is still unsuccessful, but it's hard to blame them for that.</p><p><br></p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      29 August, 2019 - 5:12 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#452829">In reply to longhorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>Going off of percentages is bogus. You need to use actual users. The 32.21% they had ten years ago could be fewer real users then the 9.52% they have now. It all depends on how much the userbase grew. Which I bet is a lot since people have more devices now then they did 10 years ago.</p>

      • longhorn

        Premium Member
        29 August, 2019 - 5:20 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#452831">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>No, because this is desktop/laptop share only and if anything that market has stagnated. PC sales peaked 2011 and have since fallen almost every year.</p><p><br></p><p>Firefox has lost two thirds of its desktop/laptop users.</p><p><br></p>


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