Eich has been Mozilla's Chief Technology Office since 2005 having been previously been its Chief Architect and the appointment means that someone with a deep technical knowledge will be at the helm.
Reid Hoffman, a Mozilla Board Member is quoted on the Mozilla announcement as saying:
“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.”
In welcoming Eich to his new role Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker, who co-founded the Mozilla project with him in 1998 writes on her Lizard Wrangler blog:
Brendan has been an absolutely foundational element of Mozilla and our success for the past 15 years. The parallels between Mozilla’s history and our future are very strong, and I am very happy with this combination of continuity and change to help us continue to fulfill our mission, as Mozilla has big ambitions: providing a rich, exciting online experience that puts people at the center of digital life.
While many developers will be pleased by this appointment because Eich is seen not only as a web guru but also as a proponent of the open Web some are dismayed on the grounds of his attitude towards same-sex marriage.
In 2012 Eich donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 which sought a ban on same-sex marriage in the state of California. Although Proposition 8 was thrown out in June 2013 Eich's new appointment has already led one married gay couple to remove their app Color Puzzle from the Firefox Marketplace and to abandon plans to launch Firefox versions of other apps.
Eich is taking over from Jay Sullivan who has been acting CEO since the departure of Gary Kovacs who reigned the CEO position in Spring 2013. Sullivan, who is also Chief Operating Office is staying on at Mozilla for the transition period and will then be replaced as COO by Li Gong who will be relocating to Mozilla headquarter in Mountain View California from Tapei and will assume responsibility for Cloud Services, IT, Marketplace, Mobile & Research, and Platform Engineering.