such sweet sorrow

One of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my life was the one I made in September to leave my job at Mozilla. And one of the hardest things about that decision was writing the email to my colleagues and friends announcing my decision. Various aspects of timing meant that I announced my resignation during an “all-hands” week — a week-long sync-up for all Mozilla employees — and while it made things much tearier than they might otherwise have been, it was truly wonderful to be able to say goodbye in person to so many of the people I’ve shared the last 6 years with.

This is what I wrote:

People always say that these are terribly hard emails to write, because they are.

When I was 19, I first met Brendan Eich at a conference in NYC. We hit it off (lol nerd-groupie fawning), and it led to me working alongside him at Netscape a year later. The ever-powerful combination of the right time and the right place gave me the opportunity to use my open source experience as part of the founding team for the Mozilla project.

Since that time Mozilla has been a huge part of my life, and a huge part of my career. I’ve decided that it’s time for me to look for another part of my career, and so I’m leaving the Corporation.

I am pretty good at the word thing, but I don’t have any adequate to express how much Mozilla means to me — the project, the people, the changes we’ve made in the world. I love you all, and the things we’ve done together that shouldn’t have been possible.

It’s been wonderful to be surrounded by family here at the all-hands this week. I’m not leaving the family, but I am moving out, so I won’t be around as much as I have been for the past 6 years. Feel free to drop me a line if I can help, or crash on my couch…hmm. You get the idea.

[Some administrivia omitted.] I am leaving with the organization and project in strong, strong hands.

I don’t know what’s next, but you can be sure it will involve the web and trying to make it better. Once that’s in your blood, there’s no getting it out.

Thank you all for many wonderful years; please know that I will always be proud of what we’ve done, and of Mozilla’s incredible, impossible, inevitable successes to come. The vision and courage I’ve seen in this week alone point to a web that won’t know what hit it.

It’s perhaps obvious that I’m tremendously proud of my time at Mozilla, and I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunities that my work there has provided. Not only did I get to help build great software that changed the web, but I got to do it with brilliant, kind, generous people from all over the world. Looking back at those six years, I wouldn’t want to have to pick out a highlight, so I won’t. I will say that if I had to go back in time, I would definitely do it all over again.

Thanks, Mozilla.

one comment to “such sweet sorrow”

  1. Håkan W
    entered 1 November 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    You rock, and you’ve always (also when I was more involved myself) played a hugely important role in the project. Best of luck on your new endeavours!