Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photograph, August 21, 2012
Born (1961-07-04) July 4, 1961
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence San Francisco Bay Area
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Santa Clara University
Known for JavaScript

Brendan Eich (/ˈk/; born July 4, 1961)[1] is an American technologist and creator of the JavaScript programming language. He co-founded the Mozilla project,[2] the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation, and served as the Mozilla Corporation's chief technical officer and briefly its chief executive officer.[3] He is the CEO of Brave Software.[4]

Early life

Brendan Eich grew up in Palo Alto,[1] and he attended Ellwood P. Cubberley High School, graduating in the class of 1979. Eich received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University.[1] He received his master's degree in 1985 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[1]

Eich started his career at Silicon Graphics, working for seven years on operating system and network code.[5] He then worked for three years at MicroUnity Systems Engineering writing microkernel and DSP code, and doing the first MIPS R4000 port of GCC.[5]

Netscape and JavaScript

He started work at Netscape Communications Corporation in April 1995. Eich originally joined intending to put Scheme "in the browser",[6] but his Netscape superiors insisted that the language resemble Java in terms of its syntax. The result was a language that had much of the functionality of Scheme, the object orientation of Self, and the syntax of Java. The first version was completed in ten days in order to accommodate the Navigator 2.0 Beta release schedule,[6][7] and was called Mocha, but renamed LiveScript in September 1995 and later JavaScript in the same month.[8] Eich continued to oversee the development of SpiderMonkey, the specific implementation of JavaScript in Navigator.[9]


In early 1998, Eich co-founded the Mozilla project with Jamie Zawinski and others, creating the website, which was meant to manage open-source contributions to the Netscape source code. He served as Mozilla's chief architect.[10] AOL bought Netscape in 1999. After AOL shut down the Netscape browser unit in July 2003, Eich helped spin out the Mozilla Foundation.[11]

In August 2005, after serving as Lead Technologist and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mozilla Foundation, Eich became CTO of the newly founded Mozilla Corporation, meant to be the Mozilla Foundation's for-profit arm.[11] Eich continued to "own" the Mozilla SpiderMonkey module, its JavaScript engine, until he passed on the ownership of it in 2011.[9]

On March 24, 2014, Eich was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation.[12] Gary Kovacs, John Lilly and Ellen Siminoff resigned from the Mozilla board prior to the appointment,[13] some anonymously expressing disagreements with Eich's strategy and their desire for a CEO with experience in the mobile industry.[14][15] Some employees of Mozilla Foundation (a separate organization from Mozilla Corporation) tweeted calls for his resignation, with reference to his donation of $1,000 to California Proposition 8, which called to ban same-sex marriage in California.[16][17] Eich stood by his decision to fund the campaign, but wrote on his blog that he was sorry for “causing pain” and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla.[13][18] Some of the activists created an online campaign against Eich, with online dating site OkCupid automatically displaying a message to Firefox users with information about Eich's donation, and suggesting that users switch to a different browser (though giving them a link to continue with Firefox).[19][20][21] Others at the Mozilla Corporation spoke out on their blogs in his favor.[22][23] Board members wanted him to stay in the company in a different role.[24] On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO and resigned from working at Mozilla; in his personal blog, Eich posted that "under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader."[25][26]

Brave Software

Eich is the CEO of Brave Software, an Internet security company which has raised $2.5 million in early funding from angel investors.[4][27] The company's co-founder is Brian Bondy, who worked on Firefox and Khan Academy. The company's employees include Marshall Rose, a network protocol engineer, and Yan Zhu, who worked on SecureDrop and Tor.

On January 20, 2016, the company released developer versions of its open-source Brave web browser, which blocked ads and trackers and included a micropayments system to offer users a choice between viewing selected ads or paying websites not to display them.[28] A recent update added inbuilt integration of 1Password and LastPass password managers.

Basic Attention Token

Eich is also the founder of Basic Attention Token (BAT), a "utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in a new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform".[29] BAT launched its ICO on May 31, 2017 raising $35 million in just 30 seconds.[30]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Lohr, Steve (1996-09-09). "Part Artist, Part Hacker And Full-Time Programmer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  2. ABC News. "Mozilla CEO Resigns After Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Campaign Donation - ABC News". ABC News.
  3. Swisher, Kara. "Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board". Recode. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Mystery startup from ex-Mozilla CEO aims to go where tech titans won't". CNET. CBS Interactive. 17 November 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Brendan Eich and JavaScript", Inventors, About.
  6. 1 2 Saternos, Casimir (2014-03-28). Client-Server Web Apps with JavaScript and Java. O'Reilly Media. pp. 32–. ISBN 9781449369293. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  7. Severance, Charles (February 2012). "JavaScript: Designing a Language in 10 Days" (PDF). Computer. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  8. "JavaScript: General introduction". Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  9. 1 2 Eich, Brendan (June 21, 2011). "New JavaScript Engine Module Owner".
  10. Seibel, Peter (2009-09-16). Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming. Apress. pp. 132–. ISBN 9781430219484. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  11. 1 2 "Mozilla Foundation Forms New Organization to Further the Creation of Free, Open Source Internet Software, Including the Award-Winning Mozilla Firefox Browser". Mozilla Foundation. 2005-08-03. Retrieved 2011-02-12. Brendan Eich, a co-founder and long-time technical leader of the Mozilla project, will become the chief technical officer of the Mozilla Corporation.
  12. "Leadership Changes" (blog). Mozilla. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  13. 1 2 Alistair Barr. "Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO". WSJ.
  14. "On mobile devices, however, Firefox ranks 13th, with less than 0.1% share, according to Net Applications" Note Net Applications rated Firefox on mobile at 0.01% in Nov 2013 and 0.68% in Jul 2014
  15. "Three Mozilla board members—including former CEOs—step down [Updated]". Ars Technica.
  16. Baker, Mitchell. "Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO". The Mozilla Blog.
  17. "FAQ on CEO Resignation". Mozilla. April 5, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  18. "Brendan Eich".
  19. Netburn, Deborah (2012-04-04). "Brendan Eich's Prop. 8 contribution gets Twittersphere buzzing". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  20. Johnston, Ian (April 1, 2014). "OkCupid calls for Firefox boycott to protest anti-gay marriage CEO Brendan Eich". Independent. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  21. Byrdum, Sunnivie (March 26, 2014). "OkCupid calls for Firefox boycott to protest anti-gay marriage CEO Brendan Eich". The Advocate.
  22. Machkovech, Sam (March 27, 2014). "Mozilla employees tell Brendan Eich he needs to "step down"". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  23. Koehler, Christie (March 24, 2014). "On Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla". Subfictional Studios. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  24. McAllister, Neil (April 8, 2014). "Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott". The Register. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  25. Kim, Susana (April 3, 2014). "Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns After Protests from Gay Marriage Supporters". ABC News. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  26. "Brendan Eich steps down as Mozilla CEO". April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  27. "Brave Software Raises $2.5 Million And Expands Technical Team". The Business Journals.
  28. "Building a Better Web". Brave Software. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  29. "Frequently Asked Questions".
  30. "$35 Million in 30 Seconds: Token Sale for Internet Browser Brave Sells Out - CoinDesk". 31 May 2017.
Preceded by
Gary Kovacs
CEO of Mozilla Corporation
24 March 2014 – 3 April 2014
Succeeded by
Chris Beard
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