Home for a Rest

Earlier today, I sent this note to the global mozilla employees list. It was not an easy send button to push.

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One of the many, many things Mozilla has taught me over the years is not to bury the lede, so here goes:

March 31 will be my last day at Mozilla.

2014 was an incredible year, and it ended so much better than it started. I’m really proud of what we all accomplished, and I’m so hopeful for Mozilla’s future. But it took a lot out of me. I need to take a break. And as the dust settled on 2014 I realized, for the first time in a while, that I could take one.

You can live the Mozilla mission, feel it in your bones, and still worry about the future; I’ve had those moments over the last 8 years. Maybe you have, too. But Mozilla today is stronger than I’ve seen it in a long time. Our new strategy in search gives us a solid foundation and room to breathe, to experiment, and to make things better for our users and the web. We’re executing better than we ever have, and we’re seeing the shift in our internal numbers, while we wait for the rest of the world to catch up. January’s desktop download numbers are the best they’ve been in years. Accounts are being counted in tens of millions. We’re approaching 100MM downloads on Android. Dev Edition is blowing away targets faster than we can set them; Firefox on iOS doesn’t even exist yet, and already you can debug it with our devtools. Firefox today has a fierce momentum.

None of which will stop the trolls, of course. When this news gets out, I imagine someone will say something stupid. That it’s a Sign Of Doom. Predictable, and dead wrong; it misunderstands us completely. When things looked really rough, at the beginning of 2014, say, and people wanted to write about rats and sinking ships, that’s when I, and all of you, stayed.

You stayed or, in Chris’ case, you came back. And I’ve gotta say, having Chris in the seat is one of the things that gives me the most confidence. I didn’t know what Mozilla would feel like with Chris at the helm, but my CEO in 2014 was a person who pushed me and my team to do better, smarter work, to measure our results, and to keep the human beings who use our stuff at the center of every conversation. In fact, the whole senior team blows me away with their talent and their dedication.

You all do. And it makes me feel like a chump to be packing up in the midst of it all; but it’s time. And no, I haven’t been poached by facebook. I don’t actually know what my next thing will be. I want to take some time to catch up on what’s happened in the world around me. I want to take some time with my kid before she finishes her too-fast sprint to adulthood. I want to plant deeper roots in Toronto tech, which is incredibly exciting right now and may be a place where I can help. And I want a nap.

You are the very best I’ve met. It’s been a privilege to call myself your colleague, and to hand out a business card with the Firefox logo. I’m so immensely grateful for my time at Mozilla, and got so much more done here than I could have hoped. I’m talking with Chris and others about how I can meaningfully stay involved after March as an advisor, alumnus, and cheerleader. Once a Mozillian, always.

Excelsior!

Johnathan

13 comments

  1. Congrats on a new chapter starting. Best of luck to you.

  2. […] Johnathan Nightingale announced his departure from Mozilla. There are three special people at Mozilla who shaped me into the person […]

  3. Thanks Johnathan. Wish you all the best.

  4. We should be thankful to have people like you, our Firefox still stands out on so many fronts, the only thing that could have been better is to not start implementing 1001 different things, and properly polishing none of them, rather 10 or a 100 of them at once, and once polished, give a go at next batch.

    All the best, and a wise decision, personal time is the most important one of them all.

  5. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said[1] Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  6. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  7. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  8. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  9. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  10. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  11. You really have done an awesome job… you deserve a break, your family deserve you to have one. After a break you will find that you have more awesomeness and way more energy, which cannot be a bad thing.

    Take the time to enjoy them before you start your next chapter.

  12. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]

  13. […] a blog post Tuesday, Nightingale said Mozilla made it through a rough patch last year and that he’s making the change to tighten […]