Hi Andy,

Just because an idea is hatched by a few people isn't a reason to dismiss
it. Otherwise, how would ideas get traction?

It seems to me that any incoming ED needs to know what the plan is, if
there is a plan, regarding possible forks from WMF. It's also highly
desirable that, if this is being actively considered, that the ED should be
someone who has experience with forks. On the other hand if the plan is to
continue with WMF in its current form, then maybe WMF should look for a
unicorn again who can manage the wide scope of WMF's activities. So the
question of whether WMF is thinking about forks is something that should go
into the calculus of the ED selection process.

Given the history of WMF, it seems to me that a fork is something that the
ED and the Board should have on their radar as possible and maybe even
likely as a desirable option. Katherine seems to be quite capable as an
interim ED, so it seems to me that this buys us some time to think
carefully about the experience that we're looking for in the next
longer-term ED (who might be Katherine); whether or not we're looking for
experience with forks is something that I think would be prudent to
consider at this stage.

I like a lot of the other ideas that are listed on
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director_Transition_Team/2016.
It's this issue of what to do with regard to a potential fork that I'm
trying to wrap my head around, and I hope that the Board and others are
too. I tend to think that the concept of forking WMF should get serious
consideration. That intersects a bit awkwardly with the ED transition, and
I'm thinking that the best way to get those two processes to work together
is to have the forking discussion (at least in the short term) happen first
so that we know what we're looking for in the ED transition. I'm open to
hearing other ideas; maybe Gayle could share her thoughts so I'm pinging
her.

Regards,

Pine

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 4:21 AM, Andy Mabbett <a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk>
wrote:

> On 17 April 2016 at 21:52, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > But recent discussions have included the possibility of spinning off
> > components of WMF and/or a breakup of the WMF organization, partly as a
> way
> > to mitigate the systemic risk from a dysfunctional or underperforming
> WMF.
> > So, should we be looking for an ED with the expectation that he or she
> will
> > manage an organization with 250+ employees, or should we look for someone
> > who has experience with spinoffs and/or breakups?
>
> There has been a small amount of discussion of a vaguely-defined,
> hypothetical split, which has involved only a handful of people. The
> idea has not been tested with the wider community, much less developed
> as a formal proposal. That's not a good basis on which to appoint an
> ED.
>
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>
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