Why I joined Mozilla’s Board of Directors
Over the past 20 years, I’ve focused on consumer-driven businesses. From factories making jeans (at Levi’s) to the largest retailer/company (Walmart) to early years of social-driven commerce (at ModCloth), getting to what drives consumer behavior is where I love to spend my time.
When I joined Choose Energy as an early employee and CEO, I hoped if we could consumerize electricity, we could change the grid. If I told you it was the cost difference of a latte a month to change to green power, it’d be a no-brainer. I was wrong. People don’t understand their bills (what’s a kWh?), what drives their bills (hint, it’s not the kids leaving the lights on), nor how to understand the cost (is 18¢/kWh a lot?). When you build a marketplace based on those things, it’s a challenge. Consumers know they *could* change their provider (for half of the US where you have the choice), but it’s probably item 8 on their to-do list, right behind rebalancing their 401k. It was my first exposure to what consumers say vs. what they do. Joining Rothy’s was a similar question. Was the brand about a sustainable shoe — 3D knit from recycled plastic water bottles — or comfort or a beautiful shoe? Short answer is it has to be a beautiful shoe first that consumers want to wear and then the sustainability aspect of it is a ‘nice to have’ and a reason to tell your friends about it.
This is a long beginning as to why Mozilla. When I was first approached about joining the Mozilla board, the recruiter asked me what I was looking for in new boards. My answer was short: something that matters and a board and management team where I could make a difference. Mozilla’s mission matters. And the time is now. In an era where Big Tech is less trusted and under intense scrutiny, Mozilla has a massive opportunity to have an impact on the future of an open, accessible internet.
This team is fantastic. From the MoCo board to the MoFo board to the long-time, authentic leadership from Mitchell Baker and the new(ish) voice of Steve Teixeira on where our products can go, this is a great team. Changing consumer behavior is hard. But critical. In the land of misinformation and content proliferation, social media, and the growth of AI, tech is changing our lives quickly. How we continue to build Mozilla’s voice in this changing landscape is an awesome challenge and one I’m excited to lend a voice to.