Posts Tagged with “staff”

Mozilla Summit

March 31st, 2013

Mozilla contributors participate from all over the globe. We participate in ones and twos from home. In Internet cafes and hacker spaces and university buildings. In Mozilla spaces with large concentrations of peers. In every continent, including Antarctica. Our participation structure is distributed, decentralized and highly individualized. In this way we represent the Web. We’re also human beings, of course, and we *love* to get together. It’s fun, it allows us to get to know each other, and to exchange the high-bandwidth ideas that face-to-face provides. And it helps us develop a shared understanding of what we are doing.

This year we’re going to gather as many key contributors as we can at the same time for the 2013 Mozilla Summit. The Summit will be open to about 1,000 Mozilla volunteers and all 900 or so of our employees. This will be the first time since 2010 that key volunteers and all Mozilla employees will have the opportunity to gather together and to work face to face. We expect this to be very exciting.

Our last Summit was in 2010 and gathered about 600 people. It seemed huge then, yet in 2013 we’ll have more than three times as many people. Because of this we’re going to try some new things. First, we’re going to try having three different locations rather than gathering 2,000 people in one place. This means the Summit will be different than 2010. Exactly! Mozilla’s not like 2010, the world isn’t like 2010, and innovation is at the heart of who we are. So we’re going to try some innovations. We’re hoping to have three locations, each with the intimacy (!!!) of 600 or 700 people, some shared content and some innovative ways to join the three locales. We’ll learn from this and use what we learn to design our future events.

The multiple locations means that the Summit will be different than a geo-located “work week.” It’s unlikely that everyone who you’ll want to see face to face will all be in the same place. On the other hand, an organization our size needs trusted connections across groups, and good relationships between people you would never have thought to get to know.

My greatest hope for the Summit is to develop a shared understanding of who we are as Mozilla, how we plan to move our shared mission forward, and how our products and offerings fit into these goals. That of course means getting to know people, lots of spontaneity and fun settings and of course some real quality time exploring our products and programs.

To do this, we’re planning to identify a pretty good size planning group. That group will do a bunch of pre-work, and will meet in mid-June to figure out the content for the Summit and help shape the overall experience.

The Summit should be great fun. It is a hugely important step in bringing Mozilla together and developing a shared understanding of who we are and how we and our products bring openness and freedoms to digital citizens.


Mark Surman: New Mozilla Foundation Executive Director

August 18th, 2008

I’m thrilled to announce that Mark Surman is joining the Mozilla Foundation as our new Executive Director. Mark joins us after a long period of getting to know — and being known by — Mozilla contributors. This includes many, many hours of discussions with Mozilla contributors, Mozilla Foundation Board members and search committee members, an Air Mozilla broadcast, extensive discussions with current Mozilla Foundation personnel, and more hours getting to know Mozilla at the Firefox Plus Summit. It’s a rare candidate who can transit such a prolonged and open process. Many thanks to everyone who participated.

A very special thanks go to Frank Hecker, who has served as our Executive Director since 2006. Frank has been a huge champion of extending Mozilla’s reach beyond our current scope, of using Mozilla DNA and values to do so, and of expanding the open web through programs like the accessibility initiative that he has implemented. We’re very fortunate that Frank will remain with the Mozilla Foundation and will continue to champion these and other projects central to the Mozilla identity.

Mark is wrapping up his work with the Shuttleworth Foundation and will join us officially on September 22. He’ll be thinking about Mozilla — you can find his thoughts at his blog. But Mark probably won’t be very active in the online Mozilla world for much of late August and September when he’s traveling with only limited time and access. Look for more in late September and October.

Mark Surman and the Mozilla Foundation

July 17th, 2008

I’m thrilled to report that we’ve identified the person we believe should lead the Mozilla Foundation into a new stage of activity. That person is Mark Surman, the role is Mozilla Foundation Executive Director. “We” in this case is the Executive Director Search Committee, the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors, Mozilla Foundation staff, plus a set of other Mozilla contributors who have spoken with Mark.

The Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors and Mark would like the Mozilla community and Mark to meet before we make a final decision. We’re inviting interested parties to talk with Mark about the Mozilla Foundation and the Executive Director role, to develop a feel for how well Mark and the Mozilla project fit together, and provide your thoughts and advice to Mark on what would make a successful Mozilla Foundation and a successful ED.

We’ll do this via an Air Mozilla broadcast. It will be on Wednesday, July 23 at 11am Pacific time, 6pm GMT. Mark lives in Toronto, so he’ll join us from there. Asa will host, and Mitchell will participate from Mountain View. As always, we’ll have facilities for people to send in questions, either before or during the broadcast and we’ll answer as many of them as possible. We’ll make the questions and the broadcast available afterwards for those who can’t join us at the time. After the broadcast we’ll have a mechanism for you to share your ideas. Most likely that will be  messages to me, I’ll be more definitive shortly. Your thoughts will assist the Board and Mark in making a final decision.

We are not planning to introduce a series of candidates for the Executive Director in this manner. After many months and countless discussions and interviews, Mark stands out as the one person we want to introduce to the Mozilla community for this role.

Some additional materials: Mark’s blog, which includes some recent posts about Mozilla, Mark’s CV, and the Mozilla Foundation Executive Director job description.

Ellen Siminoff Joins MoCo Board

June 4th, 2008

I’m very pleased to announce that Ellen Siminoff is joining the Mozilla Corporation board of directors. She joins John Lilly, Reid Hoffman and me on this board. Ellen brings a deep understanding of the consumer Internet, experience at growing and operating organizations of around our size, an entrepreneurial spirit, experience with Board-level responsibilities and a commitment to using these talents in the service of Mozilla’s mission.

I’ve been impressed with Ellen’s ability to figure out what a traditional profit-oriented start-up would be likely to do in a given situation, and then to recognize when those actions might be modified to reflect Mozilla DNA and to move forward in a Mozilla-like way. Those of us who live with Mozilla are used to doing this. It’s not so easy to find people with deep experience in the Internet industry who take to this so quickly. I’m looking forward to having Ellen’s perceptiveness and experience on the MoCo board.

Ellen’s CV is below. We’ll schedule an Air Mozilla broadcast with Ellen before too long so you can talk to her directly.

Ellen Siminoff is President and CEO of Shmoop University, an educational website. She is also Chairman of Efficient Frontier, a pioneer of dynamic search engine marketing management services. She worked with the founders to evolve Efficient Frontier from a groundbreaking idea into the leading Search Engine Marketing agency in the world with business in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America.Prior to Efficient Frontier, Mrs. Siminoff had six adventurous years s a founding executive at Yahoo!. During her tenure, she led business development (VP, Business Development and Planning), corporate development (SVP, Corporate Development) and eventually ran the small business and entertainment business units, representing approximately 25% of Yahoo’s revenue (SVP, Entertainment and Small Business). Before Yahoo!, Mrs. Siminoff worked for the Los Angeles Times as electronic classifieds manager, where she developed strategy and implemented the newspaper’s own on-line businesses as well as a joint venture of Career Path with 5 newspaper companies.With her husband, David, Mrs. Siminoff founded EastNet, a global syndicate barter company distributing television programming to 14 emerging market countries in exchange for advertising time. She graduated Stanford’s Graduate School of Business with an MBA in 1993 after having completed a summer in corporate finance at Salomon Brothers. Mrs. Siminoff worked as a human resources management consultant in New York after graduating from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.Currently, she serves on the board of directors for US Auto Parts, an Internet retailer with more than 550,000 top-rated discount car parts; Journal Communications, a diversified media and communications company operating businesses in newspaper publishing, radio and television broadcasting, telecommunications, and printing services; and glu mobile, a leading global publisher of mobile games. In 2005 she was one of eight industry professionals named “Masters of Information” by Forbes magazine. In addition, she is on the boards of directors and advisors of a number of private companies including, the leader in mobile SMS marketing. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including Ad-Tech, Search Engine Strategies, and Supernova.

Executive Director Search Update

March 11th, 2008

The Mozilla Foundation is looking for an Executive Director. We’ve been doing this for a while now. We suspected that the number of people who can understand and lead something of Mozilla’s complexity and history would be small and hard to find, and we were right. Here’s where we are.

We’ve had three or four meetings of the search committee where we talked to a number of potential candidates. So far we haven’t found a candidate the search committee thinks is close enough to introduce to the broader Mozilla group. (And of course, this process is sensitive for the candidates, so we only want to introduce candidates who we think have a reasonable chance of making sense for Mozilla.)

One important thing we’ve learned so far: It’s hard to find someone who understands both open source software and the consumer space. This is an area where Mozilla is truly a pioneer and this has been clear in the search process. We’ve talked to a number of people who understand software and open source software in particular. We’ve found that many of these folks are almost exclusively focused on things like conferences for open source developers, understanding the various open source stacks and so on. Most of these folks have not spent time living in a consumer world, or building consumer software or trying to talk to consumers. I think our massive contact with consumers is one of the unusual — almost unique — characteristics that Mozilla brings to the effort to promote openness, interoperability and participation on the web.

Another set of people understand consumers well but don’t have much background in software or open source development. Some of these folks are very smart, understand the Mozilla mission and could do a lot to help us bring the Mozilla vision to a broader set of people. For these folks the issue is generally: do they understand — or can learn – enough about Mozilla and Internet technology to be effective? That includes both being accepted by our developer community as a viable leader and understanding enough about Internet technology to be creative in our world.

We’ve come across a couple of people who seem likely to bridge this gap, although there have been setbacks. One potential candidate had to withdraw due to family circumstances. But we haven’t given up by any means.

I’ll try to do updates more frequently, and/or encourage another member of the Search Committee to do so. When we have a candidate who looks promising there will certainly be public discussion.

Foundation Executive Director Focus

June 13th, 2007

I’ve been reviewing the job description for the Mozilla Foundation Executive Director as part of ramping up the search process. It’s a great description; I like it quite a bit. It’s also long and complex. I thought it would be helpful to provide a summary of the main strategic goals we would like the ED to help us achieve. Here it is.

A primary role of the incoming ED is to expand the reach of the Foundation and its activities. In other words, to be a thought leader and help identify and develop strategic initiatives, and to oversee execution of these strategic initiatives.

We currently have a set of initiatives underway with our product and technology development and adoption — from products like Firefox and Thunderbird, to the technology of the Mozilla platform, to projects such as Seamonkey, Camino, and Bugzilla.

What else can we do? What else should we do? What other activities would make the Open Web a more lively, viable, interesting alternative? What other activities would encourage more people to participate in the Internet in alignment with the Mozilla Manifesto? How do we identify important activities? How do we try to achieve them? How do we do new things in a Mozilla-like way?

The Mozilla project as it exists today has a set of ongoing discussions. Is our product focus right? Should we make other, new products? How much attention should we give to the Mozilla platform, separate from any other focus? How do we promote the Open Web as a competitive platform to proprietary offerings? Is the distinction between products and projects quite right?

We expect the ED to participate as s/he gains experience and currency in the Mozilla world. But we don’t expect the ED to be, or be seen, as the judge of such questions. Actually, we hope that we move towards all sorts of new questions of focus and priority, based on new participants and new possibilities. This will be a mark of success.

Search Process for Executive Director

May 24th, 2007

I’m working on defining a search process for the Mozilla Foundation Executive Director. I’ve put an outline of my thinking so far in the mozilla.governance newsgroup, as that seems a better place for discussion. Take a look if you are interested in this topic.

Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Role

May 22nd, 2007

As I mentioned a while back, the Mozilla Foundation is seeking an Executive Director. I’ve included the complete job description below. The search process for the Executive Director must be open, with significant community involvement. I’ll post a proposed plan for the search activities in the next couple of days for review and comment.

Information about the search as well as the job specification can also be found at the Mozilla Foundation website.

If you have thoughts on the job description, or on the proposed search process, please post them either as comments here, or as comments in the mozilla.governance newsgroup (available via newsreader or mailing list, or via the browser). And if you know anyone you think would be a good candidate, please contact Eunice Azzani at Eunice [dot] Azzani [at] kornferry [dot] com.


Executive Director


Mountain View, California


The Mozilla Project is one of the largest open-source software development projects in existence. Mozilla represents a user-base that is approaching 100 million people, paid and volunteer staff members, engineers paid by various employers to work on Mozilla, a volunteer population numbering in the thousands, a range of spin-off projects, and a set of companies using Mozilla technology to build products.

The Mozilla Project — which includes the Foundation and its wholly owned subsidiary the Mozilla Corporation — demonstrates that the open source development model is a vibrant addition to the traditional proprietary business models.

The Mozilla Corporation operates an extraordinarily transparent product development process and engages a global community of volunteer developers and enthusiasts to create and promote adoption for the browser. By harnessing the brainpower and creativity of a broad community, Mozilla has sparked a whole new wave of competition and choice on the Internet. At the same time, Mozilla has been able to provide Firefox users with a customizable and secure way to surf the Web — without the hassle of pop-up windows, adware and other nuisances.

Overview and Responsibilities

The Mozilla Foundation seeks an Executive Director with the passion to provide strategic leadership and vision for “an open Internet.” He/She should be motivated by the Foundation’s ability to connect people, technology and social possibilities.

The Mozilla community is made up of tens of millions of Firefox users, hundreds of thousands of contributors that are creating new technologies to ensure choice and promote innovation on the Internet. The Foundation with a current asset base of $35 million and the ability to leverage the work of Mozilla Corporation — is poised and ready to move to the next level which will focus on keeping the Internet open and accessible.


  • Serves as spokesperson for the organization and must be able to articulate and promote the Mozilla Foundation’s vision and mission.
  • Builds, motivates, and promotes a high quality staff.
  • Provides strong and innovative leadership in an open source environment with hands-on experience in running an organization, and developing and implementing programs.
  • Leads the long-range and strategic planning process of the Board of Directors, ensuring that benchmarks are established for measuring success and that the planning cycles recur as appropriate.
  • Implements and evaluates the action plan based on the approved strategic goals and opportunities.


  • A proven decision maker with the ability to set priorities, manage, and implement them.
  • Develops, establishes and maintains strong relationships with Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla community.
  • Creates and develops programs within the Foundation to achieve the overall mission for Mozilla.
  • Develops strategic partnerships with appropriate organizations/people to advance the access and ease of the Internet.
  • Creates and encourages a collegial and participatory work environment where trust, integrity and open communication are valued.

Community and Board Development

  • Represents a strong cadre of volunteers, assuring their integration into the organization, culture, and leadership of the Foundation.
  • Provide avenues for full and open communication and collaboration with the community at large and promote an awareness of the diverse and changing needs of the community.
  • Initiates and encourages collaboration and cooperation among other organizations and leaders. Assists in building a shared vision of how to address and solve issues related to the Internet.
  • Develops Board meeting agendas, in collaboration with the Board Chair, and regularly provides information to the Board on activities in relation to the mission and progress toward the strategic goals adopted by the Board.
  • Provides information and recommendations to the Board for setting or revising the Foundation’s goals and objectives, operating policies, strategic planning and grant making priorities.
  • Qualifications

  • Ten years senior management experience in either the not-for-profit or for-profit environments that are technology driven.
  • Experience with open source environments is highly desirable.
  • Ability to channel and synthesize expectations and needs of multiple constituencies including users, developers and volunteers.
  • Should have an open and inclusive management style and be comfortable with working and resolving issues “in a fishbowl.”
  • Ability to manage personnel remotely.
  • He/she should have a high level of comfort and passion for technology and a sense of the possibilities of the Internet.
  • Experience in working with an international community of people and organizations.
  • A highly regarded professional stature and credibility, coupled with strong leadership skills.
  • Effective at leading and managing highly independent and self-motivated employees and volunteers.
  • The ability to prioritize and tackle multiple tasks and see the “big picture” are key. Maturity and sound judgment are essential.
  • Experience in setting strategic direction and driving it.

Personal Characteristics

  • Inspiring, creative and visionary about the Internet.
  • Entrepreneurial style and spirit.
  • Enjoys being in the company of technical people.
  • Excellent communicator with all people at every level, a leader and bridge builder.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and adapt easily to changing situations and priorities.
  • Good judgment and consensus building skills.


Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in experience is required.


A base salary commensurate with experience plus attractive benefits.

The Mozilla Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Please send your resume or recommendations to:

Eunice J. Azzani

Eunice [dot] Azzani [at] kornferry [dot] com

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.

Looking for a General Counsel

February 6th, 2007

The Mozilla Corporation is looking for a General Counsel to join its executive staff. The Mozilla Corporation is focused on creating great software and maintaining choice and innovation in key Internet activities, such as the highly acclaimed Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird applications. The Mozilla Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the Internet.

The Mozilla Corporation

The Mozilla Corporation is at the heart of one of the largest open-source software development projects in existence. It includes a userbase of 70,000,000 people, paid and volunteer contributors numbering in the thousands, a range of spin-off projects, and a set of companies using Mozilla technology to build products. The Mozilla Corporation is also at the heart of the burgeoning innovation in web-based activities.

Mozilla Corporation employees work within a unique structure that combines open source DNA and development methodologies with extensive commercial involvement. Successful Mozilla Corporation employees are quick learners, excited by change, unbothered by ambiguity, motivated by personal excellence, happy when doing many things and highly dedicated to the success of the project.

The General Counsel

The General Counsel will provide legal, business and strategic advice to the CEO, management team, and Board of Directors regarding legal aspects of the company’s objectives. The General Counsel must have an exceptional understanding of software and Internet business transactions, intellectual property issues, and the trade-offs between legal and business risks, as well as a good grasp of corporate governance and other operational issues (HR, etc). He or she will be expected to:

  • Identify, articulate, execute and publicly explain legal initiatives to the management team, Board of Directors, employees, participants in the Mozilla project and the public;
  • Use expertise to create new and innovative solutions;
  • Lead industry-wide discussions and initiatives relevant to the Mozillla Corporation;
  • Work well with the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit parent of the Mozilla Corporation; and
  • Help shape business relationships between the Mozilla Corporation and commercial entities.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Significant leadership experience with management teams across a range of issues; preferably as a General Counsel
  • “Knock ’em dead” understanding of the software and online business and legal worlds
  • Proven ability to identify, design and implement creative solutions
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and team skills
  • An aggressive creative streak, coupled with extreme flexibility
  • Strong affinity for open, transparent, distributed work environments and for the goals of the Mozilla project
  • A driving interest in the overall health of the Internet and related public policy issues
  • Familiarity with and high interest in open source software

If you think you are this person, please contact Dan Portillo at

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