In a blog post today, Eich said the board of directors had appointed him CEO effective immediately. As CEO, Eich pledged to visit all of the company's offices and the places where Mozilla is bringing its Firefox OS and $25 smartphone. "Mozilla is about people power on the Web and Internet -- putting individual users, who create as well as consume, above all other agendas. In this light, people-fu trumps my first love, which you might say is math-fu, code-fu, or tech-fu (if I may appropriate the second syllable from kung fu)," Eich wrote.
Eich replaces acting CEO Jay Sullivan, who will leave to pursue new opportunities. Sullivan took over for Gary Kovacs, who left last June and is now CEO of AVG Technologies. Mozilla co-founder Mitchell Baker, who has been a 15-year partner in the company, remains on as executive chairwoman, and Li Gong, who set up Mozilla offices in China and Taiwan and helped build up Firefox, takes over as COO.
The Mozilla blog announcing Eich's new role cited his longtime involvement with Mozilla, saying he "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."