Even if it is a bit long-winded, I could not agree more. Thank you, Mike.


On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 8:39 AM, Michael Snow <wikipe...@frontier.com>

> Hello Arnnon,
> It is good to hear something directly from you. I am sure your intentions
> in the position you were appointed to are positive and supportive. Yet
> while you may be entirely sincere in your desire to help, I find it
> extremely difficult to see a path forward in which your contribution will
> bring the benefits that may have been contemplated.
> Your statement here carries very much the right tone, but is unfortunately
> rather lacking in substance. About the events in your career that have been
> the focus of so much concern, you suggest that there have been
> misconceptions and mitigating considerations, but say nothing about what
> those misconceptions or mitigating considerations might be. I fully
> understand that for both legal and ethical reasons, you may not feel free
> to elaborate, and I do not ask that you violate any such obligations.
> However, the inability to provide more information is itself a major
> handicap for the role you are in. In fact, a requirement of silence becomes
> doubly destructive because it both provides more fuel for conspiracy
> theories and denies the Wikimedia Foundation the tools to respond
> effectively.
> I suspect that many of the possible mitigating factors have already been
> touched on by others - from the limited picture we have of the recruiting
> practices in question, it is not completely clear what level of
> responsibility should be assigned to you, whether you could reasonably have
> done otherwise in your position, or to what extent you should have
> understood their legal implications. Nor do I believe that one mistake (you
> do not say it was a mistake, and presumably again you are not in a position
> to admit that, whether or not you might wish to) should necessarily
> disqualify anybody from the Board. However, as Asaf so eloquently explained
> on this list a couple weeks ago - which I hope you saw, if you've been
> following the conversation as you say - it's nearly impossible to get
> people to leave things fully in the past without an acknowledgment of the
> mistake. I understand you want to earn the trust of the community. But if
> you cannot do what is needed for this trust to develop, then you simply
> will never be able to earn it from many people. This is another way in
> which silence becomes disabling. You might manage for people to move on
> enough that you can function in your role, but the issue will continue to
> hang over everything you do.
> The Board has indicated that you were appointed for your expertise in
> human resources. I agree that your career includes some impressive
> experience and you would be a highly qualified candidate in that sense. I
> can also appreciate why the Board might have felt a need for your kind of
> expertise. While the Foundation was at a somewhat different point during my
> tenure, it has faced a variety of challenges in this area, and these types
> of issues were prominent in my thinking about the organization, both as
> Chair and afterward. But under the circumstances, I struggle to see how
> your appointment would lead to a net benefit for the Foundation. Your
> skills and contacts might bring something that is lacking, but the
> problematic pieces of your background also reflect directly on the same
> area. Considerations such as staff morale have fluctuated over time, but I
> cannot imagine how having someone associated with these practices on the
> Board would be anything but a negative influence on it. Whether they would
> acknowledge it to you, the rest of the Board, their managers, or anyone at
> all really, I think this is an extremely serious problem. It seems like it
> would take an incredible amount of good work from you to overcome the
> damage your mere presence on the Board is likely to cause.
> I do hope you can translate your passion for this movement into some sort
> of positive contribution. Assuming you cannot speak directly to your
> personal history in a way that will satisfy people, I hope you will at
> least try to explain more clearly what you anticipate bringing to the
> table. In the context of this particular appointment, however, it is a
> heavy weight you would need to counterbalance, and there may be other and
> better ways of approaching this.
> --Michael Snow
> On 1/26/2016 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri wrote:
>> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
>> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how
>> amazing
>> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
>> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
>> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
>> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
>> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
>> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
>> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
>> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
>> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
>> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
>> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
>> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
>> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
>> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
>> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
>> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
>> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.
>> Wanting
>> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
>> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks
>> in
>> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and
>> appreciate
>> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
>> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
>> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
>> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
>> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
>> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
>> contributors, and users.
>> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
>> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
>> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
>> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
>> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
>> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
>> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
>> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating
>> the
>> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak
>> from
>> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
>> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>> Regards,
>> Arnnon
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to