Free Software Foundation has a new executive director

John Sullivan appointed as Free Software Foundation executive director

After six years as the executive director at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Peter Brown is stepping down and looking for new challenges. FSF operations manager John Sullivan is filling the role.

Brown has served as FSF executive director since 2005, and helped launch the FSF's Defective By Design (DBD) campaign against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and devices like the iPhone and Kindle which make use of DRM. Brown was at the helm while the FSF became much more active in campaigns to "spread the message about free software, and the case against digital restrictions and software patents."

It looks like Sullivan plans to continue the tradition. In the FSF-issued press release, Sullivan says "I'm especially interested in our projects to promote free software adoption in public and educational institutions, in doing what we can to make GNU and the rest of the free software movement a welcoming, positive place for everyone, and in standing up to bullying from companies who think they should be able to take freedom from individuals in order to make a buck — such as Apple and Microsoft locking free software out of their mobile application stores; Sony prosecuting people for installing free software on hardware in their own homes; and Adobe, MPEG-LA and others trying to erect toll gates at the entrance to the free Web."

Brown says he plans to continue in "a volunteer role" with the FSF to support fundraising efforts. As for his next gig, Brown says he plans to take a break for travel and then "look for a new challenge."

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