It seems that he, Blake Ross, is a 19 year old computer science major at Stanford University..
At 17, Ross and another Netscape programmer, David Hyatt, started a side project that became Firefox. They wanted to strip down Netscape and the Mozilla suite on which it is based. By reducing the software to its browsing basics, they figured it would run more efficiently.Read the full article about Blake Ross at Seattle PI
Ross and Hyatt created an early version of the browser. Because the project was open source, thousands of volunteers could examine the programming code and suggest ways to improve performance and fix bugs.