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 -- María Sefidari Huici Chair of the Board Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>