Recap: It's been just over five years since Beard was named interim CEO (three months later, the interim tag was removed) but he's been with Mozilla for far longer. Beard joined the team way back in 2004 to help launch the Firefox browser and has worn many hats since.

Mozilla CEO Chris Beard on Thursday shared the news that this will be his last year as chief executive.

His appointment as CEO came during a very turbulent time for Mozilla. After Gary Kovacs stepped down as chief executive in 2013, Mozilla spent nearly a year searching for a replacement and landed on JavaScript creator Brendan Eich. Not long after, it was revealed that Eich had supported California's Proposition 8 campaign against same-sex marriage. After roughly a week on the job, Eich resigned.

Beard in announcing his retirement said Mozilla's products, technology and policy efforts are now stronger and more resonant in the market than ever. "In short, Mozilla is an exceptionally better place today, and we have all the fundamentals in place for continued positive momentum for years to come," Beard said.

It's with that backdrop, Beard added, that he has made the decision to step back and start his next chapter. "This is a good place to recruit our next CEO and for me to take a meaningful break and recharge before considering what's next for me." Beard said he is also looking forward to spending more time with his family.

Beard will be staying with Mozilla until the end of the year which should give the board plenty of time to identify a successor and complete the transition.