Linux and Mozilla execs pull in top salaries

The Linux Foundation has received the most revenue amongst all of the free software and open source non-profits and directly pays its leader the most, but the highest compensation of any sort is still being received by Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker, along with her CTO Colleague Brendan Etch.

Share

The Linux Foundation has received the most revenue amongst all of the free software and open source non-profits and directly pays its leader the most, but the highest compensation of any sort is still being received by Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker, along with her CTO Colleague Brendan Etch.

According to the latest publicly available financial information, the Linux Foundation pulled in just over $9.6 million (£6 million) for their 2010 fiscal year, and after $9.1 million in expenses, generated $537,958 in positive cash flow for the year. In terms of direct salary, Executive Director Jim Zemlin topped out the list with $344,200. Factoring in other compensation, Zemlin brought home $362,904 before taxes in 2010.

But Zemlin is not the highest-paid non-profit leader in the FOSS community: the Mozilla Foundation generated the highest compensation levels for Baker and Etch who, while receiving no direct salary from the Mozilla Foundation, were compensated $589,953 each from "reportable compensation from related organisations" and "estimated amount of other compensation from the [Mozilla Foundation] and related organisations."

"Related organisations," in this instance is the Mozilla Corp, the for-profit subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation that generates much of the Foundation's revenue. With a revenue of $1,934,659, the Mozilla Foundation ranked fourth of the eighteen FOSS-related non-profits researched for this report. But with a net cash flow loss of $1,333,815 for the 2010 fiscal year, the Mozilla Foundation was next to last on money lost for the year.

Thirteen of the non-profits have publicly available information for their 2010 fiscal years, with the other five's information only up to date to their respective 2009 fiscal years.

Dated as this information is, it paints an interesting picture of the state of non-profits across the community. As a whole, revenue seemed to be on the rise for these organisations and most of them seem to be in good fiscal health, even if they lost cash this year. Combined, the 18 organisations grew just shy of $6 million in assets during their respective fiscal periods.

Another telling piece of information that was obtained from the Form 990s was the "public support" percentage. "Public support," in this context, is the percentage of total revenue that comes in portions that are less than two percent of total revenue for the past five years.

This percentage does not have to be reported for any organisation that hasn't filed five years' worth of returns, nor does it to apply to business trade foundations, such as the Linux Foundation, or private foundations like the Linux Kernel Organisation, which gets 100% funding from Google.

But for those organizations that reported the public support figure, the Linux Expo group (which organises SCALE and the Texas LinuxFest) came in the highest at a 99.68 percent public support figure. The Mozilla Foundation ranked the lowest, with a mere 14.71 percent public support figure, presumably because of the funds coming in from the Mozilla Corporation.

Most of the other non-profits on this list had public support figures in the 80-90 percentage range, with one surprising exception: a 45.3 percent figure at the Software Freedom Conservancy. At least 33.3 percent of funds must come from public support to qualify without exception to be a non-profit, so the SFC is in no danger there.

While this report is meant to be comprehensive, there are some notable omissions of organizations that are active in the FLOSS community. Both the LibreOffice Foundation and the KDE e.V. are based in Germany, and are not subject to US reporting (not to mention the LibreOffice Foundation is still too new to file anything anyway). The Eclipse Foundation, which is based in Canada, is absent for similar reasons.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs