OpenID To Look For New Leadership

OpenID Foundation is looking for new leadership to guide the project going forward. Executive Director Bill Washburn, who is the only paid employee of the foundation, will be leaving in six months and the entity is looking for a replacement.

Our sources say this was a soft termination, and the organization will look for a harder hitting leader to push partners to implement OpenID more widely and more quickly. Two months ago we wrote that, despite widespread adoption of OpenID by thousands of smaller site, the large Internet players are mostly just sitting on the sidelines, or only becoming issuing entities. Until more large sites also accept OpenID logins, it’s not clear the service can reach ubiquity.

OpenID Vice Chair David Recordon confirmed today that Washburn is leaving and that the organization is looking for a new leader, although he declined to comment on the reasons for the separation. He did say that OpenID is now past the evangelism phase, since most companies are now fully aware of the benefits of the solution, and is looking to move to execution mode. “We need to focus on developer tools and best practices to make sure partners are fully supported,” he said.

There has been progress recently. Google’s new Friend Connect product accepts OpenID logins, and new services like ClickPass are making it easier for users to log in with OpenID.