The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future is
not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of their
reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.

Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as Kelly
said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that discussion
and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
Dissemination Committee.

Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all threads
involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone asking
a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.


On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <>

> Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora.  I believe I'm
> correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a profit
> by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
> Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
> projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
> business?  In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
> originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
> question-and-answer model?  It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
> employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to the
> Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it not
> seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
> thinking they are just about to start?  I hestiate to suggest that Kelly's
> best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
> needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is not
> clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
> Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
> needed.  Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
> when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
> awkward position now.
> "Rogol"
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Dan Garry
Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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