boutell: (shave)
OK, so, the Brendan Eich thing. You could be forgiven for thinking it's a slippery slope to ask an employee to leave because of their personal beliefs about a social issue. Because it is.

But a CEO is not a regular employee. A CEO is a very public cheerleader for your company. It's a PR position as much as anything. The phrase "appearance of impropriety" is relevant here. You can't claim your CEO's views are not those of the company. If not theirs, then whose?

OK, so maybe you wouldn't buy that either if we were talking about Domino's Pizza, or even Microsoft, because they are for-profit companies and it's their job to maximize the stock price, not change the world. But Mozilla is not a for-profit company. It's a nonprofit organization dedicated to "openness." And that "public cheerleader" thing goes double for the CEO of a nonprofit organization.

But let's go back to the for-profits for a moment, because there's another relevant factor: companies need to retain employees. Developers are social libertarians. People who want to get married will always care more about the issue than people who want to stop them from getting married. And all of Mozilla's major competitors are rock solid on same-sex marriage, even though, as for-profit companies, they could choose to ignore it.

So at the end of the day, making him CEO was bad business. It should never have happened. He should have stayed in the CIO role, which acknowledged his considerable professional worth, and not moved into the vastly more political role of CEO.
boutell: (Default)
The Mosaic Communications Corporation home page (aka Netscape), circa 1994, has been revived by [ profile] jwz. And these pages aren't just back in a museum-exhibit form— they are on a server specially tuned to allow them to work with web browsers of the era... which will pretty much fall over if you point them at a modern site. You might think this is simply due to bloat, and there is some of that, but there are valid reasons too— mainly the fact that thousands of web sites can now share an IP address, and early browsers don't understand how that works.

You can find jwz's comments on the subject here.

Thanks to [ profile] ajdzillion for the tip.

Netscape was founded by the team that created NCSA Mosaic, the first web browser to gain the attention of a mass audience. Netscape was briefly known as Mosaic Communications Corporation when Marc Andreessen and crew first left NCSA. (Edit: [ profile] rwx reminds me that [ profile] jwz was hired away from Lucid, where he developed Lucid Emacs, and was not part of the original NCSA team.)

There's a personal blast from the past on the Homepage Development Tools - Cool Tricks page.

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