This is an interesting development, though I can’t say I’m surprised. Ben Goodger, the Lead Engineer of the Firefox project for the Mozilla Foundation now gets his paycheck from Google. According to his weblog, his role will remain “largely unchanged”. Here is what he says:
I will continue doing much the same work as I have described above - with the new goal of successful 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0 releases. I remain devoted full-time to the advancement of Firefox, the Mozilla platform and web browsing in general. I’m sure you have many questions. While I will be spending more time at Google, I will work out of the Mozilla Foundation offices regularly as the need arises. For all questions regarding Google, I ask that you contact Google directly, rather than myself.
This is an interesting and, admittedly, a smart move for Google. I, along with others, wonder what they have up their sleeve. It’s nice that Ben will get what’s probably a larger paycheck and have funds freed up for the Mozilla Foundation to continue on with their excellent open source software. I’m sure that Google has plans much bigger than helping out Mozilla, though. This brings back rumors of Gbrowser and as much as I like and use Google’s products, I must say I’m getting a little nervous. They apparently have plans to take over the world (or at least the internet) and their secrecy about everything always brings up those dark questions. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the future as Google sees it.
Of course, maybe this all has to do with Goodger’s name. I’m sure some good conspiracy theories could be formed, at any rate.
Noticed at MozillaZine: Ben Goodger Going to Google.