The Mozilla story of the day is that John Lilly is taking on the title of CEO for MoCo, and that Mitchell Baker will switch some of her focus to other Mozilla projects, such as unblocking standards, making security understandable, etc.
I’ve known Mitchell for years through my informal association with the project, and through frequent chats at conferences and on email. She’s probably the one individual who is most to blame for my joining Mozilla, which I think says enough about what I think about her. I’ve known John only for a few months, but I’ve been very impressed by him. From my first interaction with him, I was intrigued. He’s such a straight-shooter it’s disconcerting. When he’s not sure, he says so. When he has an opinion, he voices it. No BS. He’s been extremely helpful in this process of figuring out how to build MailCo, regardless of which weird questions I throw his way. It’ll be interesting to see how the public “figures him out”, as he’s been naturally quiet up to now. Subscribe to his blog, it’ll be worth reading.
My prediction based on watching Mitchell and John operate over the last few months is that change, both internal to the project and external, will be small and gradual, especially regarding Firefox and the web-focused stuff that Mozilla has been doing for years. Over time, I’d bet that Mitchell’s efforts will increase the impact of the project in complementary ways to the current product-driven mechanisms. I’m particularly intrigued to see what she’ll be up to in the standards arena — it feels like a world which has been coopted so that mostly it has become a slow, agenda-driven way of slowing innovation, rather than true collaboration. I have high hopes.
Congratulations to both, and to the project as a whole. It’s a healthy project that can adjust who’se doing what as it evolves.