Microsoft-funded CodePlex Foundation gets first exec

Microsoft-funded CodePlex lands Paula Hunter as executive director who has held leadership roles at Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and United Linux

The CodePlex Foundation, an organization funded and created by Microsoft, Wednesday named its first executive director, industry veteran Paula Hunter.

The CodePlex Foundation, an organization funded and created by Microsoft, Wednesday named its first executive director, but still has not begun to form its permanent board as promised.

Industry veteran Paula Hunter will assume the role of executive director, the Foundation said. Hunter has held leadership roles at open source organizations such as Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and United Linux.

Podcast with Sam Ramji, CodePlex Foundation

Hunter represents the first full-time staff member to join the CodePlex Foundation. She is responsible for operations, including personnel, budgets and programs, with primary responsibility for sponsor development; evangelism for the Foundation and its mission; and outreach to key open source organizations including other foundations.

"With her experience at the OSDL (now the Linux Foundation) and UnitedLinux, she has learned how to marry the needs of a major open source community with corporate contributors in a sustainable way," says Sam Ramji, interim president of the CodePlex Foundation's board of directors.

The CodePlex Foundation, launched last September, is aimed at bringing open-source and proprietary software companies together to participate side-by-side in open-source projects.

In December, the Foundation said it was launching a search to fill both the role Hunter accepted and the role of technical director. Ramji says Hunter would choose the technical director and interviews are ongoing.

The Foundation was funded with $1 million from Microsoft and includes four Microsoft employees among the six-person Board of Directors and another six employees on the 12-person Board of Advisers.

The structure of the organization drew the ire of critics almost immediately for the Microsoft-heavy board.

At the time, Andy Updegrove, a lawyer and founder of, called CodePlex a rigid foundation that has almost no wiggle room and a poorly crafted governance structure that concentrates authority at the top and leaves little power to others that might join the foundation.

The idea was the boards were just a placeholder until permanent members could be added, but permanent board members have been announced.

On Jan. 5, Ramji, interim president of the board of directors, said in a press release, "Expect to see the full permanent board - with significant changes to participants - announced in mid-January." He said three of the five board members were already in place, but no names were announced.

"We're working through some excellent candidates as well as defining our policy on sponsorships, which has slowed down our process," he said.

The CodePlex Foundation also listed its accomplishments during the first 100 days of its operation, including a project acceptance process, software code contribution agreement, new open source licensing models, and donated projects.

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