July 7, 2008

Stormy Peters joins the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director

Author: Tina Gasperson

Open source technology luminary Stormy Peters has been appointed executive director of the GNOME Foundation, effective immediately.

The GNOME Foundation is committed to the task of advancing the GNOME desktop for Linux and other Unix-based operating systems. As executive director, Peters will be responsible for marketing GNOME to the public and attracting new corporate sponsors and developers to the GNOME community. Peters says she brings the strength of her relationships with businesses and community members to her new job. "I've worked a lot in the past explaining how the community works to enterprises, explaining how enterprises work to community members and helping them work effectively together."

Peters is no stranger to the GNOME community. She is one of the founding members of the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board and has worked on behalf of the community delivering keynotes at GNOME conferences and talking to people about the desktop throughout the course of her work at Hewlett-Packard as the director of the company's open source efforts, and later as community manager at OpenLogic. Peters says she will remain in an advisory capacity at OpenLogic.

Spreading the news about the benefits of open source models and methodologies is something Peters has been doing for a long time. She wrote about some of her past experiences recently at her OpenLogic blog. "When I first started working on the business side of open source software, it felt like I spent a lot of time convincing people that they couldn't just throw old code over the wall. I think people managing dying projects actually felt relief that there was something they could do with their old project that might keep a few loyal customers happy." Peters writes that since then, she's come to realize the value of recycling code from really old projects, such as HP's Tru64 UNIX Advanced File System, recently released as open source code. "[S]ometimes there's really cool technology in old projects that can be used and leveraged in other projects if it's open sourced."

In her new role, Peters says she will keep on telling people about the goodness of GNOME. "I plan to work on marketing -- spreading the word of the value of GNOME to end users and industry sponsors -- as well as developing relationships with existing and new sponsors. The GNOME Foundation has lots of great ideas expanding their user base and attracting new sponsors. Hiring me will enable them to execute on many of them."

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