The GNOME project is a big and diverse one with many contributors. For me though, the face of GNOME for the last two years has been Stormy Peters the executive director and leader the GNOME project.
Peters announced today that she’s leaving GNOME for Mozilla.
That’s a real shame in my personal view and it couldn’t come at a more difficult time for the GNOME Foundation. GNOME is in the process of pushing out its most important update in years with GNOME 3 and the new GNOME Shell UI. Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu last week took a few shots at GNOME and announced that Ubuntu wouldn’t be using GNOME Shell, but instead would be using their own Unity shell.
The timing of the Ubuntu shift and Peters leaving GNOME may just be coincidental, but hey I sure do love a good conspiracy. Peters notes in a blog post that though she’s leaving as executive director, she plans on remaining an active member of the broader GNOME community. She also doesn’t expect her departure to affect GNOME 3.0.
“My leaving will not affect the development of GNOME 3.0,” Peters blogged. “My job was to
run the GNOME Foundation to support the GNOME community. I did not set
technical direction nor contribute to the code base – the GNOME
community, led by the release team, individual contributors and
partners, sets the technical direction and does the work.”
Peters is headed off to Mozilla to head up their developer engagement program. In my personal view, Mozilla already has so many talented people, Peters will now become a smaller fish in a bigger pond. Then again, Mozilla is in the fight of its life now against aggressive rivals including Google and Microsoft, so Peters charisma and talents will certainly be an asset for them.