Executive Director search for Mozilla Foundation

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Mitchell Baker

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May 24, 2007, 8:13:20 PM5/24/07
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I’m working on defining a search process for the Mozilla Foundation
Executive Director. In a typical organization the Board of Directors
identifies a search committee, which then does a lot of the basic work
(job desription, early interview of candidates, discussions of what’s
unclear in the job description, what’s possible and what’s now, review
of candidates, narrowing of the candidate field, feedback to the
recruiter, etc.) Some candidates meet with the Board, evaluations are
done, candidate comments reviewed. Either a candidate emerges as a good
leader or the process is repeated.

In our case we need more. We need to make sure that more people are
involved and that we have a community input into the process and the
result. The Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors has appointed Bob
Lisbonne and I as the Board members of the search committee. So far
we’ve selected Eunica Azzani as our recruiter and created and posted a
job description.

My next task is to outline a search process that:

-- helps us find a great Executive Director;
-- has significant and effective community involvement; and
--gives the incoming ED the greatest chance of working effectively as a
part of the Mozilla community.


So far, I’m thinking we should do the following.

1. Develop a search committee that includes not only Bob and I, but
also a set of other community members. I’m thinking somewhere between 3
and 5 such people, with some criteria, invitation process and “rules of
engagement.” Participation in the search committee will be more
disciplined than many Mozilla activities because it will involve dealing
with personal information of candidates.

2. Arrange for regular reports to the Mozilla community regarding
progress, what we’ve learned, etc. Right now I’m thinking that whenever
the Board of Directors gets a report we would have a public report as
well. The public report will not include everything -- we need to make
sure that we treat all our candidates with respect and discretion, so
there will be confidential personal information. But we could say
things like “interviewed two candidates; one was clearly not likely to
be able to live in the fishbowl.”

3. Have some process for introducing at least a final candidate and
many more candidates to a broader range of community members. We need
to figure out a way that works for candidates as well, so I don’t know
what the process will be.

Thoughts and reactions more than welcome.

Mitchell

Ken Saunders

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May 24, 2007, 9:19:17 PM5/24/07
to

While I am most certainly qualified to take on the role of being
Executive Director, I must decline as I have other responsibilities
and commitments that would distract me from my duties.

I thought that you could use a laugh. ;)
Ken

Mitchell Baker

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May 25, 2007, 11:08:14 AM5/25/07
to
Well say, a laugh is always good. But your note did cause me to start
thinking for a bit; and then the last line did indeed make me laugh.

mitchell

Simon Paquet

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May 27, 2007, 6:36:31 AM5/27/07
to
And on the seventh day Mitchell Baker spoke:

>I’m working on defining a search process for the Mozilla Foundation
>Executive Director. In a typical organization the Board of Directors
>identifies a search committee, which then does a lot of the basic work
>(job desription, early interview of candidates, discussions of what’s
>unclear in the job description, what’s possible and what’s now, review
>of candidates, narrowing of the candidate field, feedback to the
>recruiter, etc.) Some candidates meet with the Board, evaluations are
>done, candidate comments reviewed. Either a candidate emerges as a good
>leader or the process is repeated.
>
>In our case we need more. We need to make sure that more people are
>involved and that we have a community input into the process and the
>result. The Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors has appointed Bob
>Lisbonne and I as the Board members of the search committee. So far
>we’ve selected Eunica Azzani as our recruiter and created and posted a
>job description.
>
>My next task is to outline a search process that:
>
>-- helps us find a great Executive Director;
>-- has significant and effective community involvement; and

>-- gives the incoming ED the greatest chance of working effectively as a

> part of the Mozilla community.
>
>So far, I’m thinking we should do the following.
>
>1. Develop a search committee that includes not only Bob and I, but
>also a set of other community members. I’m thinking somewhere between 3
>and 5 such people, with some criteria, invitation process and “rules of
>engagement.” Participation in the search committee will be more
>disciplined than many Mozilla activities because it will involve dealing
>with personal information of candidates.

Have those people already been selected? It sounds as if that hasn't been
done yet. Are there any criteria that you can think of out of your head,
that people who will be selected for the search committee should match?

I will list some of the criteria that I came up with:

- Has a longstanding history (minimum 1 year, 2-3 years preferred) as an
active contributor (developer, localizer, documenter, QA tester,
project manager) in the Mozilla community.
- Should participate or have participated in at least 2 Mozilla projects
or products (e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird, Gecko, XULRunner, Sunbird,
Seamonkey, Camino, etc.). One of these projects should not be Firefox
or Thunderbird to get a wider view of the community

Note: I'm not sure, whether it would be a good idea to also get someone
from a well-known mozilla-related project outside of mozilla.org
like Flock, Songbird, Joost, Nvu.

- Should not currently be employed by MoCo or MoFo to avoid conflicts of
interest

If you want me to list some people, who I think could be added to the
Search committee based on my criteria, then say so :-)

>2. Arrange for regular reports to the Mozilla community regarding
>progress, what we’ve learned, etc. Right now I’m thinking that whenever
>the Board of Directors gets a report we would have a public report as
>well. The public report will not include everything -- we need to make
>sure that we treat all our candidates with respect and discretion, so
>there will be confidential personal information. But we could say
>things like “interviewed two candidates; one was clearly not likely to
>be able to live in the fishbowl.”
>
>3. Have some process for introducing at least a final candidate and
>many more candidates to a broader range of community members. We need
>to figure out a way that works for candidates as well, so I don’t know
>what the process will be.

Sounds good to me.

Simon
--
Sunbird/Lightning Website Maintainer:
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar
Sunbird/Lightning blog: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/calendar

Gervase Markham

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May 28, 2007, 5:21:31 AM5/28/07
to
Simon Paquet wrote:
> - Should not currently be employed by MoCo or MoFo to avoid conflicts of
> interest

What sort of conflicts of interest do you see?

MoCo and MoFo people obviously have great interest in the composition of
the MoFo board. But what makes you think that their view of the good
qualities required in a board member would conflict with the view of the
community, because of their employment status?

Gerv

Simon Paquet

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May 28, 2007, 6:27:10 AM5/28/07
to
And on the seventh day Gervase Markham spoke:

>> - Should not currently be employed by MoCo or MoFo to avoid conflicts of
>> interest
>
>What sort of conflicts of interest do you see?

1. The Mozilla Foundation is the parent entity of the Mozilla Corporation
(CMIIW), overseeing its activities, which alone suffices for a
possible conflict of interest, as there is always the possibility that
the Foundation might not approve of the actions of the Corporation and
employees of the Corporation might try to choose a candidate that
might lean more in their direction.

Note: Please notice the extensive use of "might" here. I'm not
accusing anyone of doing such things or planning them but I
think it's better to avoid such things up-front.

2. The Foundation Executive Director is the direct superior to the other
employees of the Foundation. There are good reasons why companies or
Non-profit-entities around the world do not let their employees choose
their executives and I probably don't have to repeat all of those
here.

>MoCo and MoFo people obviously have great interest in the composition of
>the MoFo board. But what makes you think that their view of the good
>qualities required in a board member would conflict with the view of the
>community, because of their employment status?

Unrelated to this question:

3. There is already an employee of the Mozilla Corporation on the
selection committee: Mitchell. I firmly believe that she will suffice
to address the interests of both MoCo and MoFo in the selection
process.

4. As has been said a lot lately (in the whole MOZPAD discussion), the
Mozilla community is *far* greater than the Foundation and the
Corporation and IMHO the selection process should adequately reflect
this fact.

Mike Shaver

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May 28, 2007, 7:13:46 AM5/28/07
to Gervase Markham, gover...@lists.mozilla.org

Unless I'm very much mistaken, this is not a search for a board
member. It's a search for an Executive Director, which is the
position currently held by Frank. AFAIK, the Foundation's Executive
Director doesn't really have oversight over the Corporation as a
matter of organizational structure, though I might be mistaken.

I don't see a conflict of interest here either, myself, but I'm
pleased that I'm not running the meta-search and therefore don't have
to make that call. (I do think we'd be excluding a lot of people who
know a lot about how the Executive Director could be successful or not
in our environment, if we remove ~100 people who are living in that
world full-time, many of whom have close to a decade of experience
with the project in different forms.)

Ultimately, the decision on who to hire is the board's decision --
again, as I understand things -- so I'm really much more worried about
getting the right people helping identify and evaluate candidates than
I am about someone seeking personal gain by rigging the selection of
the Executive Director. If you want to distort things for personal
gain, working at a ridiculously transparent public benefit company,
and becoming well-thought-of enough to be on the selection committee
is one of the least efficient paths to that sort of "success".

(At MoFo/MoCo and at a fair number of other places I've worked, people
routinely interview candidates to be their managers, and I think it's
a pretty important part of finding a good manager, especially in an
established and nuanced environment like Mozilla's. This isn't really
a management position in the usual form, but I think the model
applies.)

This isn't to say that I think that it's *necessary* that there be
additional MoCo or MoFo employees or contractors on the selection
commitee, but if Mitchell and Bob think that someone should be on
there, and the Board agrees (taking into account feedback from the
broader Mozilla community, public or otherwise), then I don't think
their employment, or whether they've received funding directly or
indirectly from the Foundation, should bar them from helping us do a
great job here.

Mike

Gervase Markham

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May 28, 2007, 7:14:31 AM5/28/07
to Simon Paquet
Simon Paquet wrote:
> Note: Please notice the extensive use of "might" here. I'm not
> accusing anyone of doing such things or planning them but I
> think it's better to avoid such things up-front.

Of course. Thank you for your clarification.

> 2. The Foundation Executive Director is the direct superior to the other
> employees of the Foundation. There are good reasons why companies or
> Non-profit-entities around the world do not let their employees choose
> their executives and I probably don't have to repeat all of those
> here.

On the other hand, foundations such as the GNOME Foundation choose their
boards by popular vote[0]. So perhaps it would be worth you stating or
linking to some of the chief reasons, so we can consider whether they
apply in our case.

Gerv

[0] http://foundation.gnome.org/elections/

Simon Paquet

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May 28, 2007, 7:32:57 AM5/28/07
to
And on the seventh day Gervase Markham spoke:

>> 2. The Foundation Executive Director is the direct superior to the other

>> employees of the Foundation. There are good reasons why companies or
>> Non-profit-entities around the world do not let their employees choose
>> their executives and I probably don't have to repeat all of those
>> here.
>
>On the other hand, foundations such as the GNOME Foundation choose their
>boards by popular vote[0].

A popular vote (217 active voters in the 2006 election) is IMO a little
bit different from having your own employees deciding on their new
executive.

>So perhaps it would be worth you stating or linking to some of the chief
>reasons, so we can consider whether they apply in our case.

If the executive directors is chosen by the people, which he is supposed
to lead, he will be indebted to those people, which might cloud his
judgement in some situations.

That's one scenario I can think of. There might be others, but I don't
know enough on the internal governance strcutures and of the interaction
level between the ED and the MoFo employees to give an informed opinion
on that topic.

Let me add, that excluding MoCo and MoFo employees (with the exception of
Mitchell) from the selection committee should not result in a situation,
where the feedback of the current employees is not evaluated.

As far as I understand Mitchell's post, the selection committee will post
regular status reports, which you and others can give their feedback on.
In addition, as Mike Shaver correctly states, in the end the decision
lies with the Board of Directors, on which another MoCo employee, Brendan
Eich, currently serves.

Cya
Simon

PS: Shouldn't the job posting for the Executive Director be posted to
http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/careers.html ? That page currently
lists no vacancies.

Gervase Markham

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May 28, 2007, 7:59:17 AM5/28/07
to Mike Shaver
Mike Shaver wrote:
> Unless I'm very much mistaken, this is not a search for a board
> member. It's a search for an Executive Director, which is the
> position currently held by Frank.

Sorry, you are right. That was dumb; I don't have my brain on the right
way round today. Thanks, Mike.

Apologies.

> AFAIK, the Foundation's Executive
> Director doesn't really have oversight over the Corporation as a
> matter of organizational structure, though I might be mistaken.

My understanding matches yours.

> Ultimately, the decision on who to hire is the board's decision --
> again, as I understand things -- so I'm really much more worried about
> getting the right people helping identify and evaluate candidates than
> I am about someone seeking personal gain by rigging the selection of
> the Executive Director. If you want to distort things for personal
> gain, working at a ridiculously transparent public benefit company,
> and becoming well-thought-of enough to be on the selection committee
> is one of the least efficient paths to that sort of "success".

:-)

Gerv

Mike Shaver

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May 28, 2007, 8:38:38 AM5/28/07
to Simon Paquet, gover...@lists.mozilla.org
On 5/28/07, Simon Paquet <si...@gmx.de> wrote:
> If the executive directors is chosen by the people, which he is supposed
> to lead, he will be indebted to those people, which might cloud his
> judgement in some situations.

This is not a hypothetical unique to Mozilla, but I think it's an
unlikely one to be concerned about. And it could as easily apply to
anyone who seeks to do business with the Foundation, have the
Foundation adopt policies more in line with their own thinking, or get
funding for a project of their choosing. Is it your experience that
similar organizations bar their employees from participating in search
or selection for positions that are senior to them? As I said in my
previous post, my experience and observation are that the opposite is
quite common, whether it's the hiring of an engineering manager or a
new university dean. The reasons are usually those I stated: direct
and deep familiarity with the context in which the candidate would
operate is vitally important to effective selection.

The hard problem here is finding someone who will fill Frank's shoes
effectively, and lead the Foundation to the next level of influence
and effectiveness on the global stage. That's the problem element
that's unique to Mozilla, and that's why I think it's good that
non-employees (and non-directors) are eligible to join in the search
committee: just as it would be wasteful to disqualify someone because
they *are* an employee of one of the companies, it would be wasteful
to disqualify someone because they're *not*, if they would otherwise
be a good choice to help find and evaluate a candidate.

> That's one scenario I can think of. There might be others, but I don't
> know enough on the internal governance strcutures and of the interaction
> level between the ED and the MoFo employees to give an informed opinion
> on that topic.

Respectfully, without knowledge of the operation of the Foundation,
how can you be so certain that excluding employees is the right way to
go forward? Dreaming up possible ways in which sufficiently
misaligned people could get into trouble doesn't really seem like the
right path to me, and your suggestion is counter to how we've built
some pretty successful organizations so far.

Mike

Simon Paquet

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May 28, 2007, 11:25:19 AM5/28/07
to
And on the seventh day Mike Shaver spoke:

>> If the executive directors is chosen by the people, which he is supposed
>> to lead, he will be indebted to those people, which might cloud his
>> judgement in some situations.
>
>This is not a hypothetical unique to Mozilla,

Right, and I never said that it was unique to Mozilla. This is the main
reason, why in public companies candidates for executive positions are in
most cases selected either by directly by the board or by outside HR
consultants.

>but I think it's an unlikely one to be concerned about.

As I said, there are good reasons, why it's done in the way that I
propose. I haven't heard good reasons for the opposite except the "We
might need the expertise and experience of the MoFo/MoCo employees".

>And it could as easily apply to anyone who seeks to do business with
>the Foundation, have the Foundation adopt policies more in line with
>their own thinking, or get funding for a project of their choosing.

The only difference here is, that those business partners are not part of
what we collectively call "mozilla community". I understood Mitchell's
post, that she wants active participation from inside the community.

>Is it your experience that similar organizations bar their employees
>from participating in search or selection for positions that are
>senior to them?

My experience is limited to medium-sized and large public companies.
Every one of them bars their employees from participating in search or
selection for senior positions.

You might argue, that the Foundation is a unique entity where different
rules might apply. I would agree that the Foundation is different to
public companies in many aspects, but I do not consider this aspect one
of them.

>> That's one scenario I can think of. There might be others, but I don't
>> know enough on the internal governance strcutures and of the interaction
>> level between the ED and the MoFo employees to give an informed opinion
>> on that topic.
>
>Respectfully, without knowledge of the operation of the Foundation,
>how can you be so certain that excluding employees is the right way to
>go forward?

As I said earlier, one MoCo employee (Mitchell) is already on the
selection committee. A MoFo board member (Bob) is on it, too. Another
MoCo employee (Brendan) sits on the MoFo board and will be involved in
the final hiring decision. I fail to see a reason, why that shouldn't be
enough, if you (MoFo and MoCo) want "significant and effective community
involvement" as Mitchell wrote in her original post.

>Dreaming up possible ways in which sufficiently misaligned people could
>get into trouble doesn't really seem like the right path to me,

I was not talking about intended malicious acts, when I wrote about a
possible scenario for conflicts of interest. This is much more about
perceptions (of the new hired ED or MoCo/MoFo employees), be they
existent inside the organizations or outside in the community space.

Do not disqualify these scenarios just because you think, that this stuff
can only happen with people of sufficient malicious intents.

Simon

Tony Mechelynck

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May 28, 2007, 11:55:57 AM5/28/07
to

In addition to all that's been said, don't forget that having the Board select
a new Executive Director (possibly by promoting him from within the company,
and possibly after some screening done by one or more people designated by the
Board) is not the same as selecting him by popular vote among all employees. I
can't find fault with the former.


Best regards,
Tony.
--
Fudd's First Law of Opposition:
Push something hard enough and it will fall over.

Mike Connor

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May 28, 2007, 2:19:50 PM5/28/07
to gover...@lists.mozilla.org

On 28-May-07, at 11:25 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:

>> And it could as easily apply to anyone who seeks to do business with
>> the Foundation, have the Foundation adopt policies more in line with
>> their own thinking, or get funding for a project of their choosing.
>
> The only difference here is, that those business partners are not
> part of
> what we collectively call "mozilla community". I understood Mitchell's
> post, that she wants active participation from inside the community.

This isn't just about business partners. What I believe shaver is
stating here
is that anyone with a stake in the activities of the Foundation would
equally
prone to conflict of interest. If someone within the community wants
to pull
the Foundation in a direction that benefits their chosen project,
isn't that the
exact same conflict of interest that you're implying employees would
have?
I might actually argue that if you feel that anyone with a potential
benefit should
be excluded, then any core person for any project that might end up
with grants
and funding from the Foundation should be excluded as well. But that
leaves us
with no significant community (employee or no) involvement, and
probably ends
with a bad job description and a bad hire.

>> Is it your experience that similar organizations bar their employees
>> from participating in search or selection for positions that are
>> senior to them?
>
> My experience is limited to medium-sized and large public companies.
> Every one of them bars their employees from participating in search or
> selection for senior positions.
>
> You might argue, that the Foundation is a unique entity where
> different
> rules might apply. I would agree that the Foundation is different to
> public companies in many aspects, but I do not consider this aspect
> one
> of them.

It has in the past, of course. The last two Mozilla Foundation board
members did
group interviews with employees and a group of well-respected non-
employees
as well. I don't see why someone below the board level would be
hired with
_less_ group oversight than in the past.

In most medium to large public companies, the shareholders dictate
who sits on
the board, and in some cases actually directly take a seat based on
their stake
in the companies. Mozilla is very different, in that the people who
hold a stake
are all members of the community. Some are employed by Mozilla* but
that
should not change their ability to exercise the influence and
authority they have
earned.

>>> That's one scenario I can think of. There might be others, but I
>>> don't
>>> know enough on the internal governance strcutures and of the
>>> interaction
>>> level between the ED and the MoFo employees to give an informed
>>> opinion
>>> on that topic.
>>
>> Respectfully, without knowledge of the operation of the Foundation,
>> how can you be so certain that excluding employees is the right
>> way to
>> go forward?
>
> As I said earlier, one MoCo employee (Mitchell) is already on the
> selection committee. A MoFo board member (Bob) is on it, too. Another
> MoCo employee (Brendan) sits on the MoFo board and will be involved in
> the final hiring decision. I fail to see a reason, why that
> shouldn't be
> enough, if you (MoFo and MoCo) want "significant and effective
> community
> involvement" as Mitchell wrote in her original post.

Significant and effective is not the same as dominant and
controlling. This
might just all be foreign to you, but we've had great success in
finding good
leaders from the outside with lots of involvement and feedback from the
employees. Ultimately the board is there as a fail-safe to ensure
that the
right person gets hired, but I think that invovement from everyone in
the
community, regardless of employment status, is critical to making
this hire
effective.

Beyond that, I don't think its just that MoCo employees have
experience or
intelligence that would be useful. I believe that MoCo employees
have a stake
in the activities of the Foundation, just as the community members
would have
an equally important stake, and to exclude them would imply that they
are
not part of the community by virtue of employment.

>> Dreaming up possible ways in which sufficiently misaligned people
>> could
>> get into trouble doesn't really seem like the right path to me,
>
> I was not talking about intended malicious acts, when I wrote about a
> possible scenario for conflicts of interest. This is much more about
> perceptions (of the new hired ED or MoCo/MoFo employees), be they
> existent inside the organizations or outside in the community space.
>
> Do not disqualify these scenarios just because you think, that this
> stuff
> can only happen with people of sufficient malicious intents.

With all due respect, I believe that your criteria may be an example
of this in
action. I don't believe there is malicious intent, but I believe
that your criteria
would push the process towards hiring someone focused on community
projects, rather than Mozilla as a whole.

To echo something shaver said, excluding community and excluding
community-who-happen-to-cash-checks are equally failure states. For the
non-board members of the search committee, I think we need to have a
fair
balance between _all_ stakeholders. Having an appropriate balance means
that no individual or group bias should be able to force the
situation into an
undesirable state for the rest of the group.

-- Mike

Simon Paquet

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May 28, 2007, 3:59:14 PM5/28/07
to
And on the seventh day Mike Connor spoke:

>> The only difference here is, that those business partners are not
>> part of what we collectively call "mozilla community". I understood
>> Mitchell's post, that she wants active participation from inside the
>> community.
>
>This isn't just about business partners. What I believe shaver is
>stating here is that anyone with a stake in the activities of the
>Foundation would equally prone to conflict of interest.

Wouldn't you agree that the conflict you are describing is set on another
level? Directly acting with and helping in overseeing the corporation is
on a much higher level, than just interacting with independent project
with no governance relationship to the foundation.

>If someone within the community wants to pull the Foundation in a
>direction that benefits their chosen project, isn't that the exact
>same conflict of interest that you're implying employees would have?

Sure. I would not advocate to put such people on the selection committee.
And I never said that I would BTW.

>I might actually argue that if you feel that anyone with a potential
>benefit should be excluded, then any core person for any project that
>might end up with grants and funding from the Foundation should be
>excluded as well.

See above. The levels differ significantly.

>> You might argue, that the Foundation is a unique entity where
>> different rules might apply. I would agree that the Foundation is
>> different to public companies in many aspects, but I do not
>> consider this aspect one of them.
>
>It has in the past, of course. The last two Mozilla Foundation board
>members did group interviews with employees and a group of
>well-respected non-employees as well.

See <471f1099f35c0361...@thorongil.babylonsounds.com>

|Let me add, that excluding MoCo and MoFo employees (with the exception of
|Mitchell) from the selection committee should not result in a situation,
|where the feedback of the current employees is not evaluated.

>> As I said earlier, one MoCo employee (Mitchell) is already on the


>> selection committee. A MoFo board member (Bob) is on it, too. Another
>> MoCo employee (Brendan) sits on the MoFo board and will be involved in
>> the final hiring decision. I fail to see a reason, why that
>> shouldn't be enough, if you (MoFo and MoCo) want "significant and
>> effective community involvement" as Mitchell wrote in her original post.
>
>Significant and effective is not the same as dominant and controlling.

If you feel that the community members would all position themselves
opposite to Mitchell and Bob then you have a much more pessimistic view
of the community than I do.

And with such an attitude to this discussion, I would even more strongly
advocate for the community involvement as I've done before. Although I
seriously hope that this isn't a "community vs. corporation" thing, that
you are trying to make out of this.

>Ultimately the board is there as a fail-safe to ensure that the right
>person gets hired, but I think that invovement from everyone in the
>community, regardless of employment status, is critical to making
>this hire effective.

I don't think that the board is a fail-safe mechanism. The board decides.
And when I read all the distinguished names on the board, I don't think
that this will be a "the selection committee has selected XYZ, please nod
with your head and let us be done with it" thing.

>> I was not talking about intended malicious acts, when I wrote about a
>> possible scenario for conflicts of interest. This is much more about
>> perceptions (of the new hired ED or MoCo/MoFo employees), be they
>> existent inside the organizations or outside in the community space.
>>
>> Do not disqualify these scenarios just because you think, that this
>> stuff can only happen with people of sufficient malicious intents.
>
>With all due respect, I believe that your criteria may be an example
>of this in action. I don't believe there is malicious intent, but I
>believe that your criteria would push the process towards hiring
>someone focused on community projects, rather than Mozilla as a whole.

Again you are pushing me into the community vs. corporation situation,
which I never advocated. I fail to see how such attacks (and I view such
a distortion of my position as an attack) is helping us here.

>To echo something shaver said, excluding community and excluding
>community-who-happen-to-cash-checks are equally failure states. For
>the non-board members of the search committee, I think we need to
>have a fair balance between _all_ stakeholders.

There is no balance, as you very well know, since the hiring decision
lies with the board alone and the board consists of people from the
corporation and respected people from outside of the mozilla community.

As Mitchel states in her original post, the selection committee will be
basically doing pre-screening work. As I see it, the selection committee
will probably present no more thank 3-5 candidates to the board, which
will then be interviewed by the board and either approved or turned down.

Let me also add that from my experience, it is highly unlikely that a
candidate is chosen against the objections of the board chairman
(Mitchell). Therefore I do not believe that a selection committee
(whoever will be part of it) will present a candidate to the board, that
Mitchell has serious issues with.

>Having an appropriate balance means that no individual or group bias
>should be able to force the situation into an undesirable state for
>the rest of the group.

Simon

Frank Hecker

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May 28, 2007, 4:32:13 PM5/28/07
to
Mike Shaver wrote:
> Unless I'm very much mistaken, this is not a search for a board
> member. It's a search for an Executive Director, which is the
> position currently held by Frank. AFAIK, the Foundation's Executive
> Director doesn't really have oversight over the Corporation as a
> matter of organizational structure, though I might be mistaken.

Just to clarify this: The Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation
does not have any formal governance role with respect to the Mozilla
Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation board does have a governance role
w.r.t. the Mozilla Corporation, because it (ultimately) appoints the
Mozilla Corporation board.

Frank

--
Frank Hecker
hec...@mozillafoundation.org

Mitchell Baker

unread,
May 29, 2007, 2:02:40 PM5/29/07
to

I disagree deeply with the ideas that employees of Mozilla organizations
(inc. Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla Europe, Mozilla
Japan, Mozilla China, etc.) should be excluded from activities that are
critical to the Mozilla process, to our identity or to what directions
we end up taking, simply because of employment status.

We are fortunate as a project to have participants who have been around
the project for many years, have seen many management and identity and
community issues, are liaisons to other parts of the community, have
very strong opinions about the need for effective merit-based systems
and are passionate about the need for the Mozilla Foundation to remain
true to its mission. Some of these participants are volunteers, some
are employed by other companies and some are employed by Mozilla
organizations.

I value *all* these voices. I value the voices of Mozilla employees no
less because they are employed to work on Mozilla or becasue they agreed
to become employees of a Mozilla organization rather than some other
company doing Mozilla work. I would feel deeply impoverished if we were
to create a process that eliminated those voices automatically.

Employees of Mozilla organizations are also community members. This
is true in a "you must earn your way sense" that new employees must earn
their way in getting CVS access, etc. It is also true in the "your
voice matters" sense.

I can not imagine creating a process where people who have agreed to
become employees are excluded simply on employment status.

I also disagree with the idea that human beings shouldn't have a chance
to help select management. I think I'm understanding that Simon seems
this as a conflict. I see it as pretty fundamental element in
developing healthy, effective working relationships.


Mitchell

Simon Paquet

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May 29, 2007, 3:53:43 PM5/29/07
to
And on the seventh day Mitchell Baker spoke:

>I disagree deeply with the ideas that employees of Mozilla organizations
>(inc. Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla Europe, Mozilla
>Japan, Mozilla China, etc.) should be excluded from activities that are
>critical to the Mozilla process, to our identity or to what directions
>we end up taking, simply because of employment status.

Ok, issue settled.

Any comments regarding the other criteria that I brought up or other
parts of my initial post?

>I value *all* these voices.

So do I. Let me just reference, what I said earlier in this thread:

Msg-ID: <471f1099f35c0361...@thorongil.babylonsounds.com>


|Let me add, that excluding MoCo and MoFo employees (with the exception of
|Mitchell) from the selection committee should not result in a situation,
|where the feedback of the current employees is not evaluated.
|

|As far as I understand Mitchell's post, the selection committee will post
|regular status reports, which you and others can give their feedback on.
|In addition, as Mike Shaver correctly states, in the end the decision
|lies with the Board of Directors, on which another MoCo employee, Brendan
|Eich, currently serves.

Simon

Mitchell Baker

unread,
May 30, 2007, 10:42:40 AM5/30/07
to

Simon Paquet wrote:

>
> Any comments regarding the other criteria that I brought up or other
> parts of my initial post?
>
>
>

> Simon

I think we're on similar paths. Your criteria are more "objective" than
mine so far -- I really want people who can help us find a great ED,
which is somewhat different from people who can represent the area of
the project in which they focus. The latter is fundamental, but not
enough. So I've got a bunch of work-style criteria.

Everyone should have:

-- Deep understanding of the project
-- History of "doing" things within Mozilla
-- Broad respect from chunks of Mozilla community
-- Ability to internalize different perspectives
-- Ability to work collaboratively, incorporating other perspectives
-- High discretion, including perhaps willingness to agree to
confidentiality obligations (we need to figure out how to treat
candidats properly)
-- Ability to be a liaison between the search committee and the Mozilla
community
-- High degree of flexibility


The group as a whole should have:
-- At least one very good scribe
-- People with different background and focus areas for the project (not
everyone can be a Firefox only person; there should be at one or more
people who can articulate what it's like to be a non-Fx project, and
views about staying broad.


I'm sure there is more, but this is where I am for now. I'll be away
from computers for the rest of the day; back tomorrow.

I've got some ideas about process and organization which I'll try to get
written down on thursday when I'm back.

Mitchell


- Has a longstanding history (minimum 1 year, 2-3 years preferred) as an
active contributor (developer, localizer, documenter, QA tester,
project manager) in the Mozilla community.
- Should participate or have participated in at least 2 Mozilla projects
or products (e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird, Gecko, XULRunner, Sunbird,
Seamonkey, Camino, etc.). One of these projects should not be Firefox
or Thunderbird to get a wider view of the community

Note: I'm not sure, whether it would be a good idea to also get someone
from a well-known mozilla-related project outside of mozilla.org
like Flock, Songbird, Joost, Nvu.

- Should not currently be employed by MoCo or MoFo to avoid conflicts of
interest

Marco Casteleijn

unread,
May 31, 2007, 5:13:23 AM5/31/07
to
Mitchell Baker wrote:

>
> Thoughts and reactions more than welcome.
>
> Mitchell

well, I am just finishing my PhD and have been involved in hiring people
in my previous job in a different field, so maybe I should not comment.

However, as you see i feel compelled to do so (of course as a community
member)

Some questions:

a) Are you looking close by (as in location = US/ US citizen) or abroad?
b) Is the ED operating from bay area?
c) Sound like want to set up a wiki to be moderated only by the commitee
similar to roadmapping a firefox release ;o)
d) For speadfirefox dot com development Ian has set up a nice tool for a
small community + action driven + secure tool via grouphub.com (ask Asa)
is this the kind of process that you want?
e) Does fishbowl mean we will see pictures and vote via
http://www.firefoxies.com/(Joke)

kind regards,

Marco

Frank Hecker

unread,
Jun 1, 2007, 12:38:43 AM6/1/07
to
Marco Casteleijn wrote:
> Some questions:
>
> a) Are you looking close by (as in location = US/ US citizen) or abroad?
> b) Is the ED operating from bay area?

As noted in the position description (though I admit this wasn't spelled
out 100% explicitly), the intent is that the new Executive Director
would work out of the Mozilla offices in Mountain View CA, and would
thus have to be legally able to work in the US.

> c) Sound like want to set up a wiki to be moderated only by the commitee
> similar to roadmapping a firefox release ;o)

Not a bad suggestion, we've used private wikis in other contexts. The
problem is always getting people to post to the wiki :-)

> d) For speadfirefox dot com development Ian has set up a nice tool for a
> small community + action driven + secure tool via grouphub.com (ask Asa)
> is this the kind of process that you want?

I'll defer to Mitchell on this one.

Marco Casteleijn

unread,
Jun 1, 2007, 2:44:23 AM6/1/07
to
Frank Hecker wrote:
> ....the Mozilla offices in Mountain View CA, and would
> thus have to be legally able to work in the US.

Ok


> Not a bad suggestion, we've used private wikis in other contexts. The
> problem is always getting people to post to the wiki :-)

But the comittee will only be 3 -5 people + Mitchell + HR person? So no
problem ;o)


> I'll defer to Mitchell on this one.

Fair enough

Marco

Mitchell Baker

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Jun 1, 2007, 1:30:38 PM6/1/07
to
The location piece is hard for me. I very much want to increase the
international understanding and focus of Mozilla. But I also recognize
that understanding what is happening is hard, being close to the set of
people in Mountain View makes a big difference.

So yes, the intent is to have someone in the SF area, even though I
personally am unhappy that this seems so relevant to me.

mitchell

On the spread firefox tools, I look at this as we put the process
together. Thanks for the suggestion!

mitchell

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