Thursday, January 07, 2010

(3) comments

Google, OpenID and Chris Messina

Today's announcement that Chris Messina is joining Google is certainly good for Chris, probably good for Google - but what about the openID Foundation?

As of today, Google has 3 members of the Board of Directors, their corporate rep (Eric Sachs), and "community" reps Messina and Joseph Smarr. That's 3 out of the 19 board members.

I should note that Yahoo has two members, a corporate one (Raj Mata) and a community one (Allen Tom), as does Microsoft (Mike Jones and Dick Hardt).

I do think that any corporate member should be prohibited from also having employees hold community seats. Not that I have any indications that messrs. Messina, Smarr, Hardt or Tom would vote against their own principles, but people's principles are influenced by those of the culture in which the perform their daily employment tasks.

Over and above that consideration, though, should be the desire to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Maybe it's time the Foundation adopted a rule prohibiting such perceived conflict.

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