The Stellar Development Foundation has made a big hiring decision. On Thursday, the organization announced that its new CEO and Executive Director will be Denelle Dixon, who currently serves as COO of Mozilla. This is clearly a significant move, and Dixon has explained how her past work will help Stellar.

In her post, Dixon expresses her commitment to promoting net neutrality, allowing users to control their personal data, and maintaining integrity in commercial partnerships. Although the jump from a browser company to Stellar might seem big, those values all overlap with the crypto world, where user freedom is key.

The Mozilla Connection

Mozilla, meanwhile, has bid farewell to Dixon on its own website, where it praises the impact that she has had on the company and the partnerships that she has formed. However, Mozilla keeps its cards close to its chest in regards to cryptocurrency—the post reveals no clues regarding how the company feels about Stellar or blockchain tech in general.

Parallels must also be drawn with Brave and the Basic Attention Token, which were created by Brendan Eich after he stepped down as Mozilla’s CEO in 2014. Although Stellar is quite different from Brave, both seem to have the same values. Perhaps it should not be surprising that Mozilla veterans fit well with crypto, as the web is driving crypto adoption.

Fewer Ties To Ripple?

Until now, Stellar has largely been defined by how it compares to Ripple, and with good reason. Not only do both blockchains function as payment networks, Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb is actually responsible for creating Stellar as well. Now, McCaleb will step down as Executive Director and take on the role of Chief Architect, loosening Stellar’s ties to Ripple somewhat.

That said, Stellar has had no trouble distinguishing itself from Ripple so far. Whereas Ripple has been forming partnerships with big banks, Stellar has been trying to connect with smaller financial services that are more tailored to average users. With Dixon’s arrival, it seems that new partnerships and projects might be on the way:

“Perhaps most relevant to my future at SDF … I pushed Mozilla to understand how to partner with commercial entities without neglecting its core mission…Stellar is uniquely positioned to connect to existing payment infrastructure, and it’s growing those connections that excites me the most.”

Dixon’s arrival at SDF on May 1st will also coincide with a redesign of the Stellar website, and the new CEO could turn the makeover into more than a coat of paint. With a veteran of one of the most recognizable open-source organizations at its helm, Stellar could quickly become known as more than just a Ripple competitor.

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