Great boost of the OSI

Simon Phipps is Open Source Initiative President

Chris Mayer

In the midst of reform, the OSI gets the perfect man as president to oversee it

Non-profit open source educator and advocator organisation, the Open Source Initiative has announced the new one-year term officers and revealed that Simon Phipps has been made President of the OSI.

Phipps was appointed this past weekend at the OSI Board Meeting in Chicago and will replace the outgoing retiring President Michael Tiemann.

At the forefront of the OSI’s intended reform (for which they’ve called upon Eclipse and Apache for advice), Phipps is the ideal choice for the role, having been instrumental in a number of recent OSI decisions. The aforementioned reform is key here, with the OSI searching to open up like the foundations they’ve sought for advice. This led to the creation of Open Source Initiative affiliation, bringing big communities like FreeBSD, Mozilla, Debian, and Creative Commons, along with Eclipse and Apache, on board as affiliates.

Phipps told the H that his “focus for the year is to enable that transformation into an organisation fulfilling the first paragraph of OSI’s mission and led by those it seeks to represent”. This is great to hear, bringing the most important point of the OSI to the floor – to build bridges and educate others of open source benefits.

Based in Southampton, Simon Phipps has long been associated with open source methods, having worked with OSI standards in the 1980s before helping introduce both Java and XML at IBM. He was a founding Director of the Open Mobile Alliance. In the past decade, Phipps joined Sun Microsystems becoming a fundamental part of their social media strategy and community engagement. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Open Source Officer, coordinating Sun’s extensive participation in Free and Open Source software communities until he left in 2010. In that role he oversaw the conversion to free software of the full Java platform, the Solaris UNIX operating system, the SPARC architecture and the rest of Sun’s broad software portfolio, all under OSI-approved Free licenses.

Congratulations Simon, we’re sure you’ll do a fantastic job for the organisation!

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