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Brendan Eich

Brendan EichBorn: 1961
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Computer Programmer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Inventor of JavaScript

Designed and implemented the JavaScript programming language, embedded in browsers since Netscape 2.0 in 1995. Standardized versions of the language have the awkward name ECMAScript; Adobe's Flash technology uses a variant.

Eich had been Mozilla's CTO for over a decade, and was appointed CEO in March 2014. Yet just ten days later, he was forced to resign in the wake of a media controversy, stemming from a 2008 donation of $1000 to support California Proposition 8, banning gay marriage in the state. The donation was old news, having been previously reported in 2012. It is theorized that the controversy was reopened in response to Eich's position on a DRM standard, Encrypted Media Extensions, developed by Microsoft, Google and Netflix. EME had the support of the W3C and Hollywood but had been publicly opposed by Eich.[1] A month after his ouster, Mozilla published a statement that "with most competing browsers and the content industry embracing the W3C EME specification, Mozilla has little choice but to implement EME."

[1] Specifically, EME leaves the actual method of DRM unspecified. Eich found this vagueness in an open standard alarming, and as a blatant power grab by large, entrenched media companies: "We see DRM in general as profoundly hostile to all three of: users, open source software, and browser vendors who arenít also DRM vendors... Projects such as cannot implement a robust and Hollywood-compliant CDM black box inside the EME API container using open source software... DRM is about gaining leverage over playback devices and ultimately users in order to jack prices a bit higher, a bit longer - but not so long as to tip things to darknets too much." See "The Bridge of Khazad-DRM", personal blog of Brendan Eich, 22 October 2013, which contains copious links on the subject.

Wife: (five children)

    High School: Gaithersburg High School, Gaithersburg, MD (1979)
    University: BS Math and Computer Science, Santa Clara University (1983)
    University: MS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1986)

    Mozilla Foundation CEO (2014)
    Mozilla Foundation Chief Technology Officer (2003-14)
    Netscape Computer Programmer (1995-2003)
    Silicon Graphics Computer Programmer (1985-92)
    Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul
    Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors (2003-14)

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