Andreas Gal Leaving Mozilla
Written by Ian Elliot   
Monday, 08 June 2015

Andreas Gal who assumed the position of Mozilla CTO in April 2015 announced he is quitting that position to branch out into IoT. 




Gal has been with Mozilla for almost 7 years and his big contribution was Boot to Gecko, which went on to become Firefox OS. When it first appeared in 2012 we reported:

Firefox OS really is in a position to destabilize the entire mobile market.

However, despite it technical merits and its potential to transform the mobile web, as time went on it appeared to lose momentum. Taking this into account perhaps it isn't so surprising that Gal is looking for a new start.  

Gal broke the news on his own blog stating:

"I am departing Mozilla to create a new venture in the Internet of Things space, an open field that presents many of the types of challenges and opportunities that drive our passion for the Web."

Commenting on Gal's announcement in an article bearing the strap line "From the 'Mozilla's Leadership Collapse Continues files", Sean Michael Kerner writes:

FirefoxOS doesn't appear to be headed in quite the direction that the Mozilla management wants, so it's not all that surprising to see Gal head for the exits now. Gal is a gifted engineer and in the dislocated mess that is the modern Mozilla organization, I suspect his talents were not being fully optimized.

As other comments on the web point out, people don't generally walk away from a  CTO position in an organisation unless they don't like the direction the outfit is going in and don't have he freedom to change, or at least guide its course and in the case of Mozilla its been hard to understand some of its recent choices.



So Mozilla, an organisation that was already in a precarious position, see The Perils Of Mozilla, has parted with two capable CTOs in a little over a year. Brendan Eich had been CTO since 2005, having already been its co-founder and Chief Architect. When he was appointed as CEO in March 2014 it seemed really good that someone with deep technical knowledge would be at Mozilla's helm. However within a fortnight he was forced to resign because his personal beliefs opposing same-sex marriage ran counter to the ethos of the Mozilla Foundation.

The current CEO is Chris Beard whose former role in the company had been in marketing, innovation, communications, community and user engagement. In announcing his appointment Mozilla chairwoman, Mitchell Baker wrote:

The Mozilla board has reviewed many internal and external candidates – and no one we met was a better fit.

which can be interpreted as a rather equivocal compliment.

What isn't in doubt is that Mozilla's Firefox browser has been losing market share over a protracted period. In the interest of the Open Internet it needs a recovery plan to be implemented soon.

Meanwhile we wish Andreas Gal luck in IoT - an arena in need of more technical input.   




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Last Updated ( Monday, 08 June 2015 )