GNOME Project’s Unexpected CEO Choice: A Bold Move or Misstep?

Holly Million, new to software, now leads GNOME. It is a curious choice for one of the biggest open-source projects, wouldn't you say?

GNOME is more than just a collection of software; it represents a community and philosophy and is one of the most prominent players in the open-source movement.

But with this stature comes responsibility, and the CEO is at the heart of meeting community expectations, guiding the project’s direction, and is responsible for defining and refining the overarching vision of the project.

In other words, its role is paramount. Why are we saying all this? For a few days now, GNOME has had a new leader.

Holly Million: The New GNOME Project’s Leader

With an official announcement on October 17, the GNOME Foundation welcomed Holly Million in her role as the new project’s Executive Director.

We are thrilled to announce a significant milestone for the GNOME Foundation as we welcome Holly Million to our team as the new Executive Director. Holly is a multi-talented individual with a diverse background in nonprofit leadership, filmmaking, teaching, public speaking, and writing.

Holly Million is the new GNOME Project’s leader.
Holly Million is the new GNOME Project’s leader.

Given the significance of the project and its effect on the open-source community as a whole, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the idea of looking into Mrs. Holly Million’s background, which is apparently the basis for her being the preferred candidate.

Our first hit was hollytheshamanartist.com, which has been closed to the public recently. However, thanks to good old archive.org, the information that greeted us is:

My name is Holly Million, and I am a professional shaman, an artist, an herbal medicine maker, and a micro-homesteader. My greatest joy comes from helping people to free themselves and bring their gifts forward for the healing of people and the planet.

Tell you what. I’m a regular tech guy, relying on 0’s and 1’s, and mainly believing in simple things like journalctl logs.

So, what should be meant by “professional shaman” is beyond my comprehension. If I may venture a guess, it is about someone offering their services to clients or the public for a fee, acting as a mediator between the human and spirit worlds.

In any case, one thing is sure – this does not have even the slightest touch with the software industry. Nowhere in the scant information we could find about Mrs. Million did we find a tangent with the IT world.

The logical question, then, is how exactly does someone who has spent her professional career in a completely different niche get to lead one of the biggest and most significant projects for the open-source world? We’ll find the answer to that question in the upcoming months or years.

Anyway, being intriguing, Holly Million’s selection as the GNOME project’s CEO gives us hope that her addition will add a healthy dose of freshness and imagination to it. We sincerely wish her success in her new endeavor!

In closing, I would like to personally ask – I dare say it on behalf of countless GNOME users: Please, Mrs. Million, make the necessary magic convincing the developers to give us back the system tray functionality and rethink some of their functional design concepts. We would be eternally grateful! And no more ghosts.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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7 Comments

  1. I have one single simple question: have she ever used GNOME before getting into this position? OK, one more, but just as simple: will she use it from now on?

  2. Bobby I couldn’t agree more. What the hell are gnome thinking? One of Linux’s oldest projects is now being led by a woman who has never worked in IT? Are you serious?

    And a shaman on top of it? Omg, this is bad news.

    Gnome started moving on a bad trajectory a while back and now we get to the lowest point yet!

    I’m SO glad that I use LMDE with the fantastic, INDEPENDENT, Cinnamon desktop because Clem and team are normal, real nerds who love Linux.

    I don’t plan to ever touch Gnome again! Good riddance! 🤦

    • Well, Dan, my suggestion is not to jump to general conclusions, but let’s wait for some time to pass and her deeds to speak for the merits. I agree – the appointment seems strange, but at the same time, Mrs. Million could be the creative and vital force the project needs to attract further investment and consolidate and expand its position.

      Best,
      Bobby

  3. Have been testing Kubuntu 23.10 with all the new KDE changes and I must say it’s far better than gnome and gives the freedom to do almost anything with your own desktop without limiting features or dumbing things down. Goodbye gnome.

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