Yes, get a TAZ!
I've done a lot of things to make sure that the company stays free & open. Firstly, by making myself the final word (for now). Per our bylaws, I can only be removed from the company by court order.
The board of directors is me, Steven (long time employee, very much for free/open), and Bdale Garbee (very hardcore netgod of free software development). We will only have people on the board that are already 100% on board with free software. So we have another layer of protection there.
The non-libre folks that are very technically savvy that we have on board have influence in how things are done, but they don't have the final say. Though they are still on board with us running a libre company. Even if they earned their chops during the 80s (or earlier), they can see the huge growth in open systems. They just don't have direct experience in free software.
Then ultimately who gets to say what a company does is the owners. Most high tech high growth companies are angling to get bought out, get a lot of venture capital, and/or go public. This is usually the founders' "exit", where they get the pile of cash. When that happens, the company is likely to absorb the traditional non-libre practices of the parent company.
We are taking a different approach. If we can pull this all together, the idea is to convert Aleph Objects, Inc. into an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). This means we don't have to be beholden to outsiders. It also allows the current owners an exit, in that they sell their stock to the ESOP. There are a lot of other advantages to ESOPs. The earliest we can decide whether to go for it or not would be December 2015, which we could make retroactive to January 2015. ESOPs are complicated.
I used to hack on the N900 too...