Mozilla re-hires veteran Mitchell Baker to serve as CEO

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

9 Apr, 2020

The Mozilla Corporation’s first CEO Mitchell Baker has rejoined the company to serve as its next chief executive after Chris Beard announced his intention to resign in August last year.

Baker, who was instrumental in the creation of the Mozilla Foundation, has been serving as the company’s CEO on an interim basis since December 2019 when Beard officially stepped down from his position.

The company has been attracted to her “innate knowledge of Mozilla” alongside a sense of urgency and transparency and a focus on long-term development, which she’s demonstrated since taking over from Beard.

“We have been conducting an external candidate search for the past eight months, and while we have met several qualified candidates, we have concluded that Mitchell is the right leader for Mozilla at this time,” said Mozilla board members Julie Hanna, Karin Lakhani and Bob Lisbonne.

“Mitchell’s deep understanding of Mozilla’s existing businesses gives her the ability to provide direction and support to drive this important work forward.”

Mozilla’s strategic plan, its board members added, focuses on accelerating growth for its core Firefox browser platform while investing in innovation to tackle some of the biggest emerging challenges facing the internet.

The industry veteran was at the heart of the organisation’s inception in 2005 and served as its CEO until the start of 2008, although her ties with the company remained, and she continued to serve as its executive chairwoman.

The company has cycled through a number of leaders since. Chris Beard also initially took over on an interim basis from his predecessor Brendan Eich in 2014. He had been part of the company for more than 15 years, barring a short period in 2013. 

Eich, meanwhile, was forced to leave the company after it was revealed he contributed money towards an anti-gay marriage campaign in the US.