New Mozilla Chief, Oh the Irony

Mozilla is a symbol for all that is good and promising in a free, open and privacy respecting internet. The mission from their website:

At Mozilla, we’re a global community of technologists, thinkers and builders working together to keep the Internet alive and accessible, so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the Web. We believe this act of human collaboration across an open platform is essential to individual growth and our collective future.

There is a kind of modern free-market-hippie vibe to it. They stand for the freedom of expression for individuals as a mean to better our world, and they have produced some really great stuff. I am a big fan of their well know successes, such as the Firefox browser as well as some of their efforts that didn’t quite make it in the marketplace. Why then did they go and appoint Brendan Eich as their CEO?

He is likely a talented and intelligent man – he did invent JavaScript after all – but he has made some controversial choices in the recent past. (I’m intentionally being evasive here, but you can read the details of the allegation in the link provided. I don’t know the man and don’t want to propagate opinions I don’t have all the facts on.) Given that why would Mozilla risk selecting someone as CEO whose past actions allegedly stand in stark contrast to the sort of “freedom of choice/expression” that they promote.

Granted the contexts are different, but there is some irony in the choice. Time will tell whether Eich’s past will get in the way of Mozilla’s goals, but I would have thought they’d choose a leader who didn’t burden them with that risk.

Update: Some Mozilla employees are voicing their disapproval of Eich.

Update #2: Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO. My prediction, Eich will be gone before the end of next week.

Update #3: Boom! Called it. Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO


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