WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

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WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

Postby CrowsNest » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:39 am

https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/w ... 01544.html

Dear all,

When the Wikimedia Foundation was first established, the head of the
organization was assigned the title of Executive Director (ED). In the US,
this is the standard title for non-profit leaders, and made sense for the
organization at the time.

This week, at our Board meeting, we made a decision to change to this
convention. We resolved to change Katherine Maher’s title to Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director. She retains the title of
Executive Director, and is also now the CEO of the Foundation. She can use
either, or both, titles to describe her position.

This was an easy decision to make, for a number of reasons.

As our movement has grown in the world, we’ve found that the title of ED is
not as easily understood outside the United States. As a Board with many
non-US people, many of us already used the term CEO to describe Katherine’s
responsibilities. While still an English-language term, it is a very common
term for many global organizations.

The CEO title is increasingly common in US non-profits as well, especially
larger ones. This is increasingly considered best practice, as a way to
communicate that the work of non-profit organizations is as serious,
complex, and worthy of respect as that of for-profit organizations. For
example, Creative Commons, one of our closest allies, uses the title of CEO.

As the Foundation already uses the convention of “chief officer” for the
leaders of its internal departments (Chief Financial Officer, Chief
Technology Officer), it also makes sense. An executive director would be
the most senior director, whereas a chief executive officer is the most
senior of the officers.

The Board’s Human Resources Committee recommended this change and reviewed
the details. As this is an update to Katherine’s title, and not a change in
her duties as an officer, it does not require an update to the Bylaws or a
wider consultation.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees is very supportive of this
change, as we believe this title better reflects the scope of Katherine’s
duties over Executive Director alone. This will better support her work
with global partners and leaders around the world, helping to share our
vision and supporting the strategic direction of Wikimedia in new markets.
Katherine’s job is not changing in any other sense.

Kind regards,



María Sefidari Huici

Chair of the Board

Wikimedia Foundation
How ridiculous. It is just like the WMF to say they're adopting best practice, while doing the exact opposite. Best practice would have obviously been to change her job title, not give her a new one and leave it up to her how and when she uses one or the other, or indeed both at the same time. Someone seeing both will either interpret them having distinct differences in duties, or that one is being held temporarily while they look for a permanent appointee.

It's about money, of course. They want to be seen as a powerful and influential corporation, their high borne entitled to breath the same air as the heads of Google et al. No doubt when it comes to regaling how awfully dirt poor they are and how terribly unfair this is given all the good work they do for humanity, that is when Maher will magically revert to the strange, almost quaint, title of Executive Director.

Consider this. If this mattered so much insofar as their wider image and communication of their strategy goes, why only announce it on an internal mailing list? It didn't make the blog, despite numerous other appointee announcements being made at the same time.

I wonder, with every penny of donor's money considered precious, by a charity at least, did they waste any replacing her business cards?
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Re: WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

Postby Stierlitz » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:33 pm

More like a "Chief Executive Asshole" if you ask me.
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Re: WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

Postby Graaf Statler » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:16 am

Let me see. Let me see, four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is............oh dear! For sure I wake up soon.

Wikipedia wrote:The Queen shouts her familiar "Off with her head!" but Alice is unafraid, calling them out as just a pack of cards; just as they start to swarm over her. Alice's sister wakes her up from a dream, brushing what turns out to be some leaves and not a shower of playing cards from Alice's face. Alice leaves her sister on the bank to imagine all the curious happenings for herself.

Why not The Queen of Hearts? Katherine Maher, Queen of Hearts of the Wikimedia foundation. What is wrong with that?
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Re: WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

Postby CrowsNest » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:12 am

Hmmm. A certain Jimmy Wales, in trying to recruit Wikipedians to clean up a biography of a friend who is CEO of Serpentine Galleries (good luck with that!), brought my attention to the following post on that biography's talk page...
That certainly wasn't the desired outcome or purpose of the edit. The role of CEO is a different function to that of Director; as the Repubblica article argues, the CEO designation marks a move in a more business-oriented direction than previous incumbents and it is notable that, unlike other figures heading up galleries, YP does not have a background in art history or curation. This is the cultural shift I am pointing towards. How would you like me to address the message on the talkpage? Beckettnoti (talk) 12:59, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
If you can read Italian, this is the article mentioned.....

https://d.repubblica.it/moda/2017/05/08 ... refresh_ce

As noted in the Wikipedia biography.....
The Financial Times noted that Peel "has been able to lure companies such as Google and Bloomberg as partners to help meet the Serpentine's annual £9.5m target".[26]
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Re: WMF now has a Chief Executive Officer, guess who it is!

Postby Graaf Statler » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:03 pm

The reason why I am complete neutral about mister Jimbo Wales is because long English texts, contexts,are many times as for a Dutchman often hard to interpret. I am not familiar with the English Wikipedia, I hear only what others are saying about him, so the only thing what I could do is to follow the opinion of others. What I don't do. The only thing what I have noticed about and Mister Wales, and madam Katerine Maher, and Doc James is they where far from neutral in the article 13 discussion. And they where also far from neutral about the Pirate Party, a party what can considered as a hoax. And they where absolute far from neutral about Madam Reda. And the user page of mister Wales is often a weird, revolutionary place also about the Brexit. But that is all.

And for the rest I leave the judgement to mister CrowsNest and mister Stierlitz.
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