Chris Beard announced via blog post today his plans to step down as Mozilla Corporation CEO at the end of 2019. Beard joined the web software company in 2004, remaining an employee since then, with the exception of 2013, when he left to become Greylock’s “executive-in-residence,” while remaining on as an advisor.
Beard was appointed interim CEO for Mozilla in April 2014, coming on as full-time chief executive in July of that same year. The company has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, after having ceded much of its browser market share to the likes of Google and Apple. Firefox has undergone something of a renaissance over the past year, as have the company’s security tools.
“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,” Beard said in the blog post. “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.”
Mozilla is currently seeking a replacement for Beard, though he’s agreed to stay on through year’s end. Executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced in her own post that she’s agreed to step into an interim role if needed.
“One of the accomplishments of Chris’ tenure is the strength and depth of Mozilla Corporation today. The team is strong. Our organization is strong, and our future full of opportunities,” Baker said. “It is precisely the challenges of today’s world, and Mozilla’s opportunities to improve online life, that bring so many of us to Mozilla. I personally remain deeply focused on Mozilla. I’ll be here during Chris’ tenure, and I’ll be here after his tenure ends. I’m committed to Mozilla, and to making serious contributions to improving online life and developing new technical capabilities that are good for people.”