Mozilla CTO: Andreas Gal

Chris Beard

At Mozilla, our mission is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web and we do this by building trustworthy products and technology that give people more control over their online lives. Having a strong voice in the technology that underlies the Web platform and provides the foundation upon which the world builds products and services to bring that mission to life is critical.

Today, I am announcing the appointment of Andreas Gal as Mozilla’s new Chief Technology Officer.

Andreas is widely recognized as an authority on web technology and as a strong technical leader. He joined Mozilla over six years ago to apply his Ph.D. research to significantly advance the Javascript engine that powers Firefox with just-in-time compilation and since then has played key roles in virtually all of our major technology initiatives, including Firefox OS, Rust, Servo, pdf.js and Shumway.

Andreas will have responsibility for leading technical decision making, representing Mozilla externally on technology, and managing our R&D programs.  He will also continue to serve as VP Mobile as we continue to focus our efforts on delivering and scaling Firefox OS.

As our CTO, Andreas’ passion for technical excellence will help advance our mission and strengthen the open Web, and I look forward to working with him closely in his new role.

Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Awards $134,000 to Eight Grantees Across Chattanooga and Kansas City

Mozilla

Today, Mozilla announced the eight projects in Chattanooga and Kansas City that will receive funds from the first round of the Gigabit Community Fund. The Fund, supported by NSF and part of the broader US Ignite initiative, is investing in organizations and projects that utilize gigabit technology to serve educational systems, support educators in and out of the classroom, and impact student learning. Grantees across the two cities will receive a total of $134,600 for a 12-week pilot period beginning Monday.

Grantees will utilize the awarded funds to build and pilot gigabit-enabled applications and associated curricula that have immediate, measurable impact on classrooms and informal learning organizations in Chattanooga and Kansas City. Through these pilot projects, Chattanooga and Kansas City will become living laboratories in which to study how these next-generation networks can impact education and workforce development.

“A web with unlimited connectivity has unlimited potential—and can mean digital access, inclusion, education and workforce opportunity for an entire city,” said Chris Lawrence, Senior Director of Mozilla Webmaker Community and Hive Learning Networks. “As the leading gigabit economies in the US, Kansas City and Chattanooga are uniquely positioned to explore these possibilities. We’re excited to see what the grantees create.”

Gigabit Community Fund Grantees

The following projects received grants between $5,000 and $30,000:

Chattanooga

  • Remote Audio Mixing / Chattanooga Music Resource Center–for a collaborative, cloud-based music education app to be piloted with the Chattanooga Public Library and with Barger Academy of Fine Arts, a local public elementary school.
  • Hyperlocal Hyperaudio / Hyperaudio–for a content remixing curriculum that uses locally produced content from partners including the Chattanooga Public Library, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Public Education Foundation, and the Chattanooga History Center.
  • Viditor / GeonCode–to pilot the launch of a new online video editor with digital art and design classes at Baylor School and at the Chattanooga Public Library’s teen center.

Kansas City

  • Gigabots / Big Bang–to bring connected devices to robotics and into classrooms to teach kids how to share innovation in collaborative ways.
  • 3D Multi-School Learning / aSTEAM Village–to utilize next gen telepresence technology to teach computer programming and video game design to students in a multi-school setting.
  • Project Bright Spots / The Lean Lab–to use the gig as a collaboration tool, by enabling community dialogue around specific experiences that highlight local innovation in education.
  • Augmented Reality / Bonner Springs Fire Dept.–for a specialized training system that equips first response trainees with Google Glass to share live video and real-time information during training and simulation scenarios.
  • Gigabit Cafe / Reconciliation Services–to deploy the first public test of the “Software Lending Library” to bring gigabit internet connectivity to Reconciliation Services’ clients and neighbors.

You can read more about these projects at the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Website. These 12-week pilot programs will run from April 28 to July 18. The application period for the next round of Gigabit Community Fund grants begins on May 12, for projects that will run from July 7 to September 26.

Cultivating Hive Learning Communities

Grantees of the Gigabit Community Fund will also become founding members of Gigabit Hive Learning Communities in both cities. These local communities of practice will function as “living laboratories,” working and learning together around community-driven goals. They also join a growing global Hive network that includes New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto among others.

Members of the Gigabit Hive Learning Communities will participate in regular meet-ups and online forums, and through an openly networked approach, will share their planning, progress, lessons learned and best practices throughout and following the initial pilot period.

How to get involved:

Mozilla Moving Forward

mitchell

Mozilla finds itself in the midst of an unexpected leadership transition. Along with my fellow board members Reid Hoffman and Katharina Borchert, I am pleased to announce the next step in this transition: the appointment of Chris Beard to the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors, and as our interim CEO.

We began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago. Chris has been a Mozillian longer than most. He’s been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s. I have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade. This is an excellent time for Chris to bring his understanding of Mozilla to the Board.

We have also appointed Chris as interim CEO. In this time of transition there is no better person to lead us. 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. In the early years at Mozilla he was responsible for leading the Mozilla product, marketing and innovation teams. More recently, Chris was our CMO, leading user, developer and community engagement activities globally, including the initial launches of Firefox on Android and Firefox OS at MWC. Chris is the right person to lead us through this time and he is a strong candidate for CEO.

Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively. This is key for any leader at Mozilla, including our CEO, whether interim or otherwise. Chris’ experience and insight is highly aligned with our goals. We will continue to deliver Firefox OS to additional markets and form factors in 2014 as we demonstrate the unique user experiences that only the open Web can provide. We will continue to bring the richness and flexibility of the Web to Firefox users and will further integrate our services offerings.

The open Web and Mozilla are facing challenges that are very similar to those we faced when we first started Mozilla — centralized business models and technology with barriers to interoperability and new entrants. Today, online life is feature-rich, highly centralized and focused on a few giant organizations that exert control over almost all aspects of the experience. In this environment, there is a deep and urgent need for an open, exciting alternative that shows what the open Web brings to this setting.

Mozilla is building these kinds of alternatives for the world. It’s why we’re here. It’s why we gather together to focus on our shared mission and goals. We intend to use recent events as a catalyst to develop and expand Mozilla’s leadership. Appointing Chris as our interim CEO is a first step in this process. Next steps include a long-term plan for the CEO role, adding board members who can help Mozilla succeed and continuing our efforts to actively support each Mozillian to reach his or her full potential as a leader.

Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman

Firefox OS and Medic Mobile use the Web to Connect the World to Healthcare

Mozilla

At Mozilla, we are dedicated to putting the power of the Web in people’s hands in support of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web. We’re pleased to announce today that we’re partnering with Medic Mobile, a leader in mHealth solutions for developing countries, to take that mission to the world’s most remote and underserved communities.

medic mobileMedic Mobile pioneered the use of feature phones and text messaging to connect remote communities to health care. Their technology tracks outbreaks, schedules maternal health visits, monitors medicine stock, and connects villages with hospitals. The organization works in 20 countries spanning Africa, Asia and Latin America, and supports Community Health Workers overseeing 5 million people.  Medic Mobile’s Hope Phones campaign, a cellphone recycling initiative, is one of many ways that the organization raises funds for new technology needed in the field.

Medic Mobile is the first community health app for Firefox OS and is now available in Firefox Marketplace. This early version allows health workers to document measles outbreaks from their phones, and more features will be added with future updates.

“We see harnessing the Web as our next big step, bringing location data, images, visualizations and analytics to the fingertips of Community Health Workers. Firefox OS is device-agnostic and provides a Web-based, low-cost platform for the developing world,” said Josh Nesbit, CEO of Medic Mobile.

“We look forward to expanding Medic Mobile’s reach through Firefox OS, and will continue pursuing regionalized and localized community apps like Medic Mobile that make the Web even more useful and relevant to people,” added Mary Ellen Muckerman, VP of Brand Strategy and Services at Mozilla.

We’re proud to partner with Medic Mobile, aligning our non-profit missions of using technology to change people’s lives.

For more information:

 

FAQ on CEO Resignation

Mozilla

On April 3, 2014 Brendan Eich voluntarily stepped down as CEO of Mozilla. It has been well documented that Brendan’s past political donations led to boycotts, protests, and intense public scrutiny. Upon his resignation, Brendan stated: “Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader.” The intense pressure from the press and social media made it difficult for Brendan to do his job as CEO and effectively run Mozilla.

Since then, there has been a great deal of misinformation. Two facts have been most commonly misreported:

1. Brendan was not fired and was not asked by the Board to resign. Brendan voluntarily submitted his resignation. The Board acted in response by inviting him to remain at Mozilla in another C-level position. Brendan declined that offer. The Board respects his decision.

2. Around the time of Brendan’s appointment as CEO, three members of the Board of Directors resigned from the Mozilla Corporation Board. None of these board members resigned over any concerns about Brendan’s beliefs. Gary Kovacs and Ellen Siminoff had previously stated they had plans to leave, and John Lilly did not resign over any concerns about Brendan’s personal beliefs. Katharina Borchert was appointed to replace one of the empty Board seats after Brendan was appointed CEO.

Currently, Mitchell Baker continues to lead Mozilla as Executive Chairwoman and co-founder. The executive team is reporting directly to Mitchell, and she is also leading the search for a new CEO with support from the Board. The executive team is committed to moving forward with Mozilla’s 2014 goals under guidance from Mitchell and the Board.

Mozilla was built on the mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web. Every day, we bring together over half a billion users and thousands of contributors from more than 80 countries to advance the cause outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto. The Web is a vital public resource and Mozilla exists to protect it. That is what we do at Mozilla, our singular point of focus.

Additional facts have been provided in the FAQ below.

FAQ:

Q: What was the sequence of events around Brendan’s appointment and eventual resignation as CEO?

A:  The events unfolded as follows:

  • 1998: Brendan Eich and Mitchell Baker co-founded the Mozilla Project

  • 2003: Brendan and Mitchell co-founded the non-profit Mozilla Foundation

  • 1998-2014: Brendan served in a variety of technology leadership roles at Mozilla, including CTO and SVP Engineering of the Mozilla Corporation

  • 2012: The Los Angeles Times reported that Brendan made a political contribution in 2008 to California Proposition 8

  • March 24, 2014: Because of his unique and proven ability to build both Mozilla and the Open Web, Brendan was appointed CEO of the Mozilla Corporation

  • March 25: Initial blog posts, social media and media stories appeared citing Brendan’s past political donations and raising concerns about his appointment as CEO

  • March 25: CREDO, a social change organization and mobile phone company that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits, contacted Mozilla to inform that they planned a petition in response to Brendan’s appointment

  • March 26: Mitchell published a blog post in support of Mozilla’s commitment to inclusiveness

  • March 26: Brendan published a blog post re-affirming his commitment to inclusiveness at  Mozilla

  • March 27: Media coverage began to focus on fewer than 10 Mozilla employees who used Twitter to ask Brendan to step down from the role of CEO

  • March 29: Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote a blog post about Mozilla’s support for marriage equality

  • March 30: CREDO petition calling for Brendan’s resignation launched

  • March 31: OkCupid launched an action asking its users to boycott Mozilla, impeding access to their site from Mozilla products

  • April 1: Brendan spoke to national media to respond to public concerns

  • April 3: Amid organized boycotts, protests and intense public scrutiny, Brendan resigned and stepped down as CEO

Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?

A: No, Brendan Eich resigned. Brendan himself said:

“I have decided to resign as CEO effective April 3rd, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.”

Brendan Eich also blogged on this topic.

Q: Was Brendan Eich asked to resign by the Board?

A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.

Q: Was Brendan Eich forced out by employee pressure?

A: No. Mozilla employees expressed a wide range of views on Brendan’s appointment as CEO: the majority of them positive and in support of his leadership, or expressing disappointment in Brendan’s support of Proposition 8 but that they nonetheless felt he would be a good leader for Mozilla. A small number (fewer than 10) called for his resignation, none of whom reported to Brendan directly. However media coverage focused disproportionately on the small number of negative comments — largely ignoring the wide range of reactions across the Mozilla community.

Mozilla’s culture of openness extends to encouraging our staff and community to be candid about their views on Mozilla’s direction, including during and after Brendan’s appointment as CEO. We’re proud of that openness and how it distinguishes Mozilla from most organizations.

Q: Did Board members resign over Brendan’s Prop 8 donation?

A: No. Gary Kovacs and Ellen Siminoff had previously stated they had plans to leave. John Lilly did not resign over Proposition 8 or any concerns about Brendan’s personal beliefs. Katharina Borchert was appointed to replace one of the empty Board seats after Brendan was appointed CEO.

Q: Do I need to support Mozilla’s marriage equality statement to be a Mozillian?

A: No. The Mozilla Project is the overall umbrella for Mozilla’s global community, and as a community organization does not take stands on issues outside the scope of the Mozilla Manifesto. Every Mozillian is free to have his or her view, and we welcome all. The Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Foundation, like many of their peers in the US tech industry a) have provided benefits and support to same-sex couples and b) recently issued the following statement about marriage equality. You do not need to agree with these actions or statements to be a Mozillian.

Q: Is Mozilla becoming a social activist organization?

A: No. Mozilla is committed to a single cause: keeping the Web free and open. Our specific goals as an organization are outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto. We are activists for the open Web. Mozilla has a long history of gathering people with a wide diversity of political, social, and religious beliefs to work with Mozilla.

Q. Do you need to support marriage equality to contribute to Mozilla as an employee, volunteer, or in a leadership role?

A: No. There is no litmus test to work at Mozilla.

Everything from Mozilla’s own Community Participation Guidelines, to employment law, to the Mozilla Mission mandates that employees and community members can and should hold whatever beliefs they want. We are an organization made up of a global community of people with widely diverse views coming together for a common shared goal: protecting and building an open Web.

Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO

mitchell

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.

Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.

While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the Web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.

We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla.

What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week. However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open Web.

We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.

Thank you for sticking with us.

 

Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman

 

For more information:

 

 

 

Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality

Mozilla

Over the past few days we have been asked a number of questions about Brendan Eich’s appointment as CEO. This post is to clarify Mozilla’s official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people.

Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just. This is why BOTH Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Foundation support equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.

We realize that not everyone in our community or who uses our products will agree with this. But we have always maintained that as long as you are willing to respect others, and come together for our larger mission, you are welcome. Mozilla’s community is made up of people who have very diverse personal beliefs working on a common cause, which is a free and open internet. That is a very rare and special thing.

Mozilla has always worked to be a welcoming community, committed to inclusiveness and equality for all people. One voice will not limit opportunity for anyone. That was true yesterday and will be true tomorrow. Our Community Participation Guidelines state:

The Mozilla Project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they interact constructively with our community, including, but not limited to people of varied age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views.

Our culture of openness extends to encouraging our staff and community to be candid about their views on Mozilla’s direction. We’re proud of that openness and how it distinguishes Mozilla from most organizations. Most of all, we want to ensure that all Mozilla users and community members know how deeply committed we are to openness and equality for all people.

Mozilla Statement on Diversity

Mozilla

Mozilla has always been deeply committed to honoring diversity in sexual orientation and beliefs within our staff and community, across all the project’s activities. One concrete example of this is in our health benefit policies. Mozilla provides the same level of benefits and advantages to domestic partners as we do to married couples across the United States, even in states where it is not mandated. For those who choose life insurance, voluntary spouse coverage extends to domestic partners, including same-sex couples. With thousands of people spanning many countries and cultures, diversity is core to who we are, and we’re united in our mission to keep the Web open and accessible for everyone.

Blog post by Brendan Eich, incoming CEO: Inclusiveness at Mozilla
Blog post by Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman: Building a Global, Diverse, Inclusive Mozilla Project: Addressing Controversy

Mozilla Leadership Changes

Mozilla

The Mozilla Board of Directors has announced that co-founder and current Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich will be appointed to the role of CEO of Mozilla, effective immediately.

Li Gong will be named Chief Operating Officer and a number of functions will move under his organization including Cloud Services, IT, Marketplace, Mobile & Research, and Platform Engineering.

Mitchell Baker will remain Mozilla Executive Chairwoman and will continue the long and successful partnership with Brendan as co-founders who lead the Mozilla project to fulfill our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web.

Jay Sullivan, our acting CEO during the executive search, has led Mozilla passionately and will leave a lasting impact on the project.  Under Jay’s leadership Mozilla has delivered a number of key products, including several versions of the Firefox Web browser and the very successful launches of Firefox OS. After six years at Mozilla, Jay will stay on through the transition to support the team and then leave to pursue new opportunities.

Brendan Eich, Mozilla co-founder, has been deeply involved in every aspect of Mozilla’s development starting from the original idea in 1998. He has deep expertise in both the technical and product sides of the organization, as well as the Web in general. His technology vision and general acumen have quietly shaped not only Mozilla, but large parts of the Web over the past two decades. He is the creator of JavaScript, a key technology of the Web.  Brendan brings Mozilla’s founding vision and boldness to our current initiatives.  These traits are a unique asset as Mozilla brings openness and choice through new initiative such as Firefox OS and cloud services.  Brendan and Mitchell’s fifteen-year history of co-founding Mozilla and working together is an asset in this time of necessary organizational and community growth.

“Mozilla speaks for the open Web, where consumers and developers alike can prosper and express themselves free from the constraints imposed by commercial, profit-driven technologies. Mozilla’s organization and Firefox products help keep the Web balanced to every individual’s interests, and not just for the highest profit”, stated Reid Hoffman, Mozilla Board Member. “Brendan Eich, as a founder and a well-respected innovator of Web technologies, is uniquely equipped to lead Mozilla with his deep understanding of the organization’s core values and technology vision.”

Mozilla is unique in how we operate, because every Mozilla contributor and user around the world is an important part of driving our mission forward, reaching our goals and, ultimately, shaping the future direction of the Web.

Mozilla has delivered significant accomplishments across the project, including the upcoming major release of Firefox that will include new user experience enhancements, and Firefox Accounts which provides easier syncing and other benefits; Mozilla partnering with Unity Technologies and with Epic Games to provide developers with tools for delivering superior games on the web without plugins; Firefox OS devices launched in 15 countries with 4 operators and 4 device manufacturers, capped-off by another amazing industry reception for Mozilla and Firefox OS at Mobile World Congress 2014, the world’s largest mobile industry trade show.

“I would first like to thank Jay Sullivan for his contributions to Mozilla and to the Web. He has been a passionate force at Mozilla whose leadership, especially during the last year, has been important to our success, in particular with Firefox OS. Thank you, Jay!” said Brendan Eich, Mozilla CEO. “I am honored to have the role of leading Mozilla, as we look forward to our audacious goals across all of our products and the project as a whole.”

For more information:

Congratulations to Mozilla’s Thimble Code Editor For Being Recognized as a “GameChanger” for Education!

Erica Sackin

Thimble's Common Sense Media Award

Teaching has always been an important piece of what Mozilla does — right down to the first few thousand people who built Firefox, and then installed it on their friends’ and families’ computers, explaining why it was different.

Several years ago, we became more intentional about integrating education into what we do. We realized that teaching is not just important, but essential to Mozilla’s mission; to keep the web open, accessible and ours, we need an informed user base who understands its basic building blocks, and recognizes that the web is something any of us can help build and shape. And so, nearly two years ago, Mozilla’s Webmaker was born— our project to build the right tools and community to teach web literacy on a global scale.

Today, we’re thrilled to share that Thimble, Webmaker’s code editor for beginners, has been recognized by Common Sense Media as one of the best educational tools online, and a GameChanger for education, with a 2014 ON for Learning Award. The “ON” award celebrates the year’s best in digital media  products designed to educate and engage young people.

Thimble also received a 5-star rating from Common Sense Media for its educational value — the highest  possible rating available from the organization. Common Sense Media ratings are the most comprehensive tool that parents and teachers rely on for  understanding the true educational value of digital media resources.

Here are a few of the reasons Thimble was honored with the award:

  • Engagement – Thimble lets kids experience the delight of  learning to write their own webpages with side-by-side windows that  instantly show the effects of their coding tweaks.
  • Learning Approach – Authentic coding practice comes  alive through fun, community-generated projects. Whether they learn  through guided remixing or start a project from scratch, Thimble is a great tool for kids to find the right entry point into web design.
  • Support – Thimble’s immediate feedback, baked-in help and a supportive community all help kids persevere and publish their webpages.

It’s Webmaker’s goal to help people understand the mechanics, culture and citizenship of the web in a way that enables creativity and encourages empowerment. Our easy-to-use open tools such as Thimble, X-Ray Goggles and Popcorn Maker help  educators, technologists, makers and anyone curious about the web become the creators, not just consumers, of the web.

Webmaker also works with a global community of educators, finding the best, open and distributed ways of teaching web literacy on a global scale through volunteer-led events, free online trainings and more.

We’re honored to receive this award from Common Sense Media, but like everything at Mozilla,  Thimble was built by a global Webmaker community of contributors. So if you provided feedback on an open community call; filed or closed bugs; or created or remixed content for others to use and learn and share… we’re celebrating this award with you!

How to get involved: