Mozilla Foundation Executive Director

April 18th, 2007

One of the great strengths of the Mozilla project is the dedication of its participants. Many people participate over a period of years — sometimes as volunteers, sometimes as employees — figuring out new ways to contribute.

Frank Hecker is one such participant. Frank has been active in the Mozilla project since the very beginning, helping with the project’s launch in 1998. He then participated as a volunteer for many years. When the Mozilla Foundation needed an Executive Director, Frank agreed to take on that role, becoming an employee of the Foundation. Frank has just noted his desire to change his role, to remain active with the Mozilla Foundation, and to help the Foundation identify its next Executive Director.

On behalf of the Mozilla project I want to thank Frank deeply for serving as the Foundation’s Executive Director and providing a much-needed anchor. The Mozilla Foundation would be far weaker without Frank’s dedication and efforts, which represent much of what is great about the Mozilla project. I am looking forward to working with Frank in the future. I suspect he will continue to do much of the same work he has been doing, particularly in the accessibility and grants area where he has been leading such great efforts.

The Mozilla Foundation has engaged an executive recruiter to help us identify good candidates and to conduct a healthy process for identifying, evaluating and ultimately deciding on the right person for its next Executive Director. We haven’t yet mapped out exactly what that process will look like, but we know it will be open, public and highly interactive.

Our recruiter for this selection process is Eunice Azzani, who has a great deal of experience in recruiting both non-profit and for-profit leaders. She specializes in finding “out of the box” individuals that want to make a difference and have a strong passion for the work they do.

Eunice has interviewed Mozilla Foundation and Corporation Board members, and is talking with a few other long-time and active contributors to get a general idea of a job description. We hope to have that description drafted shortly. The job description will be posted for public review and input. From there, we’ll figure out what’s a good process to make sure candidates are identified and evaluated in a way that represents the Mozilla communities. The Executive Director is responsible to the Foundation Board of Directors in an organizational and legal sense; and to the Mozilla community in a leadership sense.

If you have suggestions about how to run an effective, open process please raise them in the mozilla.governance newsgroup (available via newsreader or mailing list, or via the browser). For example, one early step I’ve been thinking of is to set up a method — IM, podcast, conference call, whatever — for community members to talk with Eunice directly. If you have suggestions about candidates or specific questions for Eunice, you can reach her at: Eunice [dot] Azzani [at] kornferry [dot] com.

The Mozilla Foundation has an enormous opportunity to improve online experience for tens of millions of people. The Executive Director we seek will have internalized the possibilities and bring both expertise and passion to achieving the Mozilla vision.

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