After sticking around at the Silver level, Google is finally upgrading its membership to the top tier at the Linux Foundation. The upgrade to Platinum level will cost Google $500,000 per year. The company also gets a seat at the foundation’s Board of Directors.

As part of the move, Sarah Novotny, the head of open source strategy for Google Cloud Platform, will now join The Linux Foundation Board of Directors as Google’s representative. She has long been an open source community champion in communities such as NGINX and MySQL and is already a Node.js Foundation board member.

“Google is one of the biggest contributors to and supporters of open source in the world, and we are thrilled that they have decided to increase their involvement in The Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation.

While Google has upped it’s contributing to the foundation, don’t forget that Google chose the foundation to manage and host Kubernetes, one of the biggest open soure projects. CNCF was created to host Kubernetes, and is today one of the biggest projects at the foundation after the Hyperledger project.

All Linux Foundation projects are collaborative projects, where the respective communities make the decisions about the project and not the foundation. The foundation makes higher level decisions as in where to organize events which projects to support and provide resources like marketing and other to its project. Often people think that by ‘buying’ a seat at the foundation companies like Microsoft or Google gain influence over the project. That’s not how the foundation works. All code and project level decisions are made by developers and technical committees of those projects.

As far as Google is concerned, it has been an active contributor to the open source community for many years, releasing and contributing to more than 10,000 open source projects to date. Some of The Linux Foundation communities Google supports include Cloud Foundry, Node.js Foundation, Open API Initiative and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which it helped found with its Kubernetes contribution.

“Open source is an essential part of Google’s culture, and we’ve long recognized the potential of open ecosystems to grow quickly, be more resilient and adaptable in the face of change, and create better software” said Sarah Novotny, head of open source strategy, Google Cloud.

Listen to our interview with Novotny:

It is worth mentioning here that more than 800 organizations are members of The Linux Foundation and the open source projects it hosts, including Microsoft.

Note: Swapnil Bhartiya contributed to this story.

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