From the ‘Not All CTOs are Created Equal’ files:
I’ve had the good fortune to talk to many CTOs as part of my day-to-day job as a tech journalist over the last decade here at InternetNews. One thing that I can say for certain is that the role of CTO is a varied one and the definition of what a CTO is or does is not definite.
At some organizations, the CTO is a technical cheerleader and a product evangelist. In other organizations, the CTO is the person that actually leads and directs development. In the case of Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich, he is now set to combine the best of all CTO worlds.
“I’m happy to announce that as CTO I will now also be managing our product and platform engineering teams,” Eich blogged. “This is a privilege and an obligation I take seriously. I look forward to working even more with community members including Mozilla’s engineering staff to advance the Open Web on all platforms, especially the mobile ones rising to overshadow desktop computers.”
I’m not surprised at all by this move. In fact it really does seem quite obvious.
While Eich may not have always been the point person behind all Firefox development that the public has seen, he has always been there pushing forward the vision and the platform. One of the earliest interactions I had with Eich was in 2004 when he was standing point for Mozilla’s battle with Microsoft over Longhorn (remember Longhorn?) and the XAML language.
Microsoft did not win that battle, Mozilla and the Web did.
Now its time for Eich to lead the charge in the Mobile battle and lead he will (and has). Eich has already made tough technical calls on Web Video patents (H.264)and a myriad of other things.
I think this shift is a change for the better and it will expedite Mozilla’s efforts with clear, definitive and experienced leadership.