Thanks Patricio for the clarifying answer. These specified numbers put the
whole story in a different perspective. While I'm sure that many people
still find these numbers to be very high (including myself), the WMF is
currently operating in a context of San Francisco, and that pushes numbers
up. Activity expectations for a 50k compensation compared to a 300k
compensation are also quite different, so this updated information puts to
rest quite a bit of questions.

The 40h statement in the 990 remains odd, but I'm indeed confident that Sue
made many more than those in the first months of 2014... I guess we can't
really blame the WMF for how the 990 form is set up.

I do hope that in the future the board will indeed make it explicit if an
advisory role, that could be confused for a totally volunteer role, is
compensated. Perhaps you could confirm still that this was quite a
one-of-a-kind situation (as Sue is also quite one-of-a-kind with all her
experience!) and that no other 'advisors' are paid compensation for their
time? (I'm thinking about advisory board, endowment advisors, FDC, AffCom
and what else).

Thanks!

Lodewijk

2016-06-08 7:31 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgr...@gmail.com>:

> Thanks Patricio for the detailed answer which fully eliminated my concerns.
> One thing that bothers me all the time is the very late answer from the
> board. I'm pretty sure so many comments about Sue wouldn't be said if you
> sent this response earlier. We've been through this that these statements
> needs to be checked by the board, legal, probably comms, etc. and I
> understand it's time consuming but this is another case of a publicity
> crisis that could've been avoided by a faster response.
>
> Do you have any plans to improve this?
> Best
>
> On Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 6:40 AM Kat Walsh <k...@mindspillage.org> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 6:50 PM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> > > Patricio Lorente wrote:
> > >>We’ve heard your questions and want to address them broadly, as well as
> > >>provide more information about the breakdown of Sue’s compensation
> during
> > >>this time.
> > >
> > > Thank you for this e-mail.
> > >
> > >>One point of confusion is for the period this compensation covers. This
> > is
> > >>reasonable, this confused even some of us involved in preparing this
> > >>response. Although the majority of activities reported on the Form 990
> > >>cover the Foundation’s fiscal year (specifically, the six months
> between
> > >>July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015), the IRS requires that details about
> > >>compensation for certain highly-paid individuals are for the full
> > calendar
> > >>year in which the fiscal year begins or ends.
> > >
> > > This parenthetical confused me. Six months from July 2014 to June 2015?
> > >
> > >>(2) Retention bonus to compensate Sue for lost opportunities during the
> > >>transition period: $165,000.
> > >
> > > This is the key piece that I think most people didn't understand or
> > > realize. Was this information published anywhere previously (e.g., in
> the
> > > Board minutes)? I wouldn't expect to see an exact amount, of course,
> but
> > > this is a pretty substantial amount of donor money, so I'd expect at
> > least
> > > a "we approved a retention bonus for special advisor Sue Gardner"-type
> > > notice somewhere, typically on wikimediafoundation.org.
> > >
> > >>Sue’s special advisor status with the Foundation ended on May 31, 2016,
> > >>and she is no longer on contract with the Foundation or receiving any
> > >>compensation from it.
> > >
> > > I can't help but think about the tempestuous past year that the
> Wikimedia
> > > Foundation has had, including issues with Sue's immediate successor.
> >
> > I left the board in the middle of this process, so I was present for
> > part of the discussions around what would happen but not all of it,
> > and my understanding may be out of date.
> >
> > The understanding I left with is that the Special Advisor role would
> > be created and would be paid regardless of whether she was actually
> > being consulted--so that the outgoing ED would continue to reserve
> > time to be available, and the new ED would not have a financial
> > incentive to end the relationship early. However, this doesn't
> > guarantee that the relationship would continue to any significant
> > degree, only that the consulting time was already reserved and paid
> > for.
> >
> > -Kat
> >
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