Open SourceNews Brief: W3C Gets New Leadership

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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a new chief executive today with the filing of its vacant position at the top. Jeffrey Jaffe is now the new CEO of the W3C, a position that will see him join the organization originally created by the founder of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The W3C is the leading standards body for Web standards such as HTML and is currently working on a number of new standards, including HTML 5. The HTML 5 standard will be the first major revision to the core HTML specification since the publication of HTML 4.01 in late 1999.

As CEO, Jaffe will be responsible for the W3C’s operations and for ensuring that the group is where the technical development and standards for the Web are nurtured and developed.

“My most immediate priority is to preserve and enhance the W3C culture of having an open, consensus-based process,” Jaffe wrote in a blog post. “This works well today, but I also need an effective and open high-bandwidth communications path with the large, diverse, and global set of stakeholders of the W3C.”

The W3C was not immediately available for comment by press time.

Jaffe joins the W3C after having been re-organized out of the CTO position at Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) in January. In late 2009, Novell announced that it was reorganizing its business around the idea of intelligent workload management. Novell has also been facing challenging business conditions as a result of the current economy — which led to the reorganization.

Jaffe will be filing a position at the W3C left vacant by its former CEO, Steve Bratt, who departed in 2009 to become CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Unlike the W3C, which is focused on standards, the World Wide Web Foundation’s goal is work on social and technology programs to bring the Web to more people all around the world.

The W3C and the World Wide Web Foundation do work together in some respects. When the World Wide Web Foundation officially started its operations in November 2009, Bratt told that his hope was that his organization could raise money to be able to supplement the W3C’s current income, especially to work in areas that are underfunded.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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