Dear fellow community members,
On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees I am delighted to
announce that the new Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation will be
Lila Tretikov. Lila is a widely respected Bay Area technology leader, most
recently with SugarCRM.
As many of you know, about a year ago Sue Gardner announced she planned to step
down as our ED. As we launched the search for her successor, we spent some time
working through the most critical requirements for the role. We decided the new
ED should be someone with a product/engineering background, ideally in an
open-source or other online community context. We wanted someone experienced
with organisations that were growing, who'd managed staff and budgets
comparable to ours, and who had experience creating continuous delivery of
technology improvements in an agile context. We wanted a person who is oriented
towards collaboration, transparency and openness, with some experience with
complex stakeholder environments, and with an international orientation. We
knew we needed someone with courage and strong personal integrity, who wouldn't
be intimidated by attempts to censor the projects.
Lila is precisely what we set out to find.
Lila was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the United States alone, as a
teenager. She's been working for technology companies, primarily in open
source, in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. In 1999 she started her career
at Sun Microsystems. Shortly afterwards she founded GrokDigital, a technology
and design company. She spent three years as senior director of development at
Telespree, a company that provides cloud-based wireless data services for
mobile carriers. For the past eight years, she was at SugarCRM, where she held
positions of increasing responsibility as the organization grew, including
being in charge of internal IT, marketing, customer support and professional
services, engineering, and product development. She has a stellar reputation as
a leader who is highly skilled, collaborative, open, passionate and curious.
We think Lila will be a terrific fit for the ED role. The Transition Team
(Phoebe, Alice, Kat, Sue, Erik, Geoff, Gayle and I) voted unanimously to
recommend her to the Board, and the Board voted unanimously to accept the
recommendation. She strikes all of us as smart, brave and unpretentious, and we
believe she has the skills the WMF needs.
Lila is going to spend the next few weeks in learning-and-listening mode, and
will take over the ED position from Sue at the end of the month. Her first
priority will be to immerse herself in deepening her understanding of the
I want to close this announcement by saying a heartfelt and deeply appreciative
thanks to Sue, who has been the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation
for the past seven years. When the Board and I hired Sue in 2007, we were just
a chaotic little non-profit in small-town Florida, with a tiny staff and not
much money. Over the past seven years, Sue's leadership has built the
Foundation into an effective, well-funded and well-managed organisation, with
integrity and a clear sense of purpose, and her steady and committed presence
throughout the search process was integral in helping us come to this excellent
result. We will be forever grateful for her leadership and vision, and I hope
we can continue to rely on her support in the months and years ahead.
In June Sue will move into a new role as a special advisor to me and Lila.
She'll also take a well-earned holiday, and maybe even a bit of a wiki-break,
before beginning to think about what she's going to do next. Many of us will
get a chance to see her in London, at Wikimania, in August.
The Wikimedia Foundation is delighted to have reached such a successful outcome
to the search. My thanks to Lisa Grossman of m/Oppenheim for helping us with
it, and I ask you to please join me in extending a warm welcome to Lila
Tretikov, our new ED.
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
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