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Mozilla’s new CTO is Andreas Gal, who stuck around after a one-off project with Eich

Above: Andreas Gal, Mozilla's new chief technology officer.

Mozilla has found someone to step in to its chief technology officer position, which Brendan Eich dropped before he became chief executive and then resigned.

Mozilla’s new CTO, Andreas Gal, will also continue to work as the company’s vice president of mobile, interim chief executive Chris Beard wrote in a blog post on the news today.

“Andreas is widely recognized as an authority on web technology and as a strong technical leader,” Beard wrote. “He joined Mozilla over six years ago to apply his Ph.D. research to significantly advance the Javascript engine that powers Firefox with just-in-time compilation and since then has played key roles in virtually all of our major technology initiatives, including Firefox OS, Rust, Servo, pdf.js and Shumway.”

The move brings Firefox maker Mozilla some more stability after a scandal broke out over a donation Eich made to California’s gay-marriage-blocking Proposition 8. Some people called for Eich to resign, and that’s just what happened.

Gal didn’t invent JavaScript — Eich did — but Gal does bring “passion for excellence” that “will help advance our mission and strengthen the open Web,” Beard wrote.

Before becoming vice president of mobile, Gal was Mozilla’s director of research.

He joined the company originally “to work with Brendan Eich and Mike Shaver on a just-in-time compiler for JavaScript based on my dissertation research (TraceMonkey),” he wrote today in a post on his personal blog.

“Originally, this was meant to be a three-month project to explore trace compilation in Firefox, but we quickly realized that we could rapidly bring this new technology to market,” he wrote. On August 23, 2008 Mozilla turned on the TraceMonkey compiler in Firefox, only days before Google launched its then-still-secret Chrome browser, and these two events spawned the JavaScript Performance Wars between Firefox, Chrome and Safari, massively advancing the state of the art in JavaScript performance. Today, JavaScript is one of the fastest dynamic languages in the world, even scaling to demanding use cases like immersive 3D gaming.

“The work on TraceMonkey was an eye-opening experience for me. Through our products that are used by hundreds of millions of users, we can bring new technology to the Web at an unprecedented pace, changing the way people use and experience the Web.”

More information:

Mozilla is a thriving community of intelligent, principled and passionate individuals who build software to preserve choice, openness and innovation on the Internet. As part of this mission, Mozilla develops and distributes the popular... read more »

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