Hi Philip,

just to make sure, are you aware of the email under the topic "REPLY TO: News about CTeam transitions from Wikimedia Foundation" ? I believe that was sent within the day. 


On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 2:18 PM Philip Kopetzky <philip.kopetzky@gmail.com> wrote:
I find it quite worrying that after a month no one has deemed it necessary to reply to the concerns voiced by a former chair of the WMF Board of Trustees. There isn't even a PR-level denial of there being a crisis.

The C-Suite turnover would be a major challenge for any company or organisation. Just describing it as a "natural part of evolution" doesn't explain what direction this "evolution" is taking and why so many of the C-Suite don't deem this worth sticking around for. In the meantime, the "smooth operation" is leading to uncertainty and stagnation that is wasting valuable time and momentum for the implementation of the 2030 strategy.

On Mon, 28 Jun 2021 at 23:36, Christophe Henner <christophe.henner@gmail.com> wrote:

Heather, you have been someone I have always loved to talk with. 

I have fond memories with you there, such as talking with you and Zack on Thanksgiving eve having beers in the Foundation office creating the Museums of Things People don't Want To Know. Or crafting my email in Esino Lario to announce my term as chair, everyone sitting on the floor in a room with you, Katherine, Greg, and Juliet. I have so many others. 

Wherever you will go next they will be as lucky as we have been to count you as part of our movement. Perhaps even more as you take your experiences with you. 

Most people in the movement might not know you, but you have made a big difference behind the scenes. 

You reshaped how we are positioning ourselves in the world and provided a speaker to our voices. I am sad to see you leave the Foundation, I only hope we will keep on seeing you around and that, life willing, we will have other drinks. 

Grant, I left when you joined so I can only remember the job interview I gave you. We never had the chance to create memories allowing me to make an email like I can for Heather. But nonetheless, I can only fare you well for the future. 

And remembering our discussions and your experiences, I can just hope you will start on your own project! 

Raju, thank you for the update. 

Change is natural in an org, but it had been years since we had that level of turnover. I do understand, running orgs myself and being a former chair of the board right after the last crisis, that those are very tough situations. 

I also know that when you are in the middle of change it is tough to make decisions that can be fully understood. 

However, it might be good if some better information about the situation were provided. 

Here one can only have theories about the situation, and remember with concern the the last time such turmoiled happened. 

 In the span of 6 months the Foundation lost its CEO, COO, CCO, CTO, CoS (Chief of Staff). That is more than half of the C-Suite. When facing such turnover, it usually is a sign of deeper issues. 

As everyone in org theory loves to say, never waste a good crisis. 

As usual, we all have the best of the movement at heart. Any criticism comes from a place of deep care about our movement; as members of the loyal opposition. We can be wonderful allies and support if you allow us to be.

Le lun. 28 juin 2021 à 9:14 PM, Raju Narisetti <rnarisetti@wikimedia.org> a écrit :

Dear All, 

On behalf of the Foundation Board, I’m writing to share with you that Chief Creative Officer Heather Walls and Chief Technology Officer Grant Ingersoll will be leaving the Wikimedia Foundation, at the end of July.

We, along with the Foundation Transition Team, have been working with them for several weeks on a smooth transition in their respective functions. We are grateful to them for their service and dedication to the Foundation and the movement. In their time with us, both Heather and Grant have used their unique talents and skills to preserve and provide free knowledge to the world while also elevating the voices of community members around the globe.


Heather has been with the Foundation for almost ten years, driving creative and communication efforts. In that time we’ve seen a revolution in how our projects are perceived by the world. She has played a pivotal role at the Foundation, shaping its identity and strengthening our mission to be a trusted and valued resource for sharing and accessing knowledge globally. Heather brought communities around the world closer together by developing and executing innovative means of communications and leading campaigns that helped grow our community and  elevated the voices of our community members. Most recently, on Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday, she, with her team, connected people in more than 70 countries so that we could celebrate “20 Years Human” and our important movement together.


In her words: 

“There is nothing that can sum up nearly a decade with Wikimedians. The joy, the conflict, the evolution, and the unchanging. I’ve seen things change for the better; focused effort to bring more equity into our movement including a ground-breaking global code of conduct—and I’ve seen things stay the same in ways that matter; Wikimedians holding true to their values in face of new challenges like censorship and misinformation. As I reflect on the past almost 10 years, I am amazed by the pace and strength of our growth and the evolution of our brand from an internet experiment to one of the most trusted places on the web. It was a pleasure to see this work reach a pinnacle during Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday celebrations, with headlines, brand partnerships, and community events that shine a light on how far we’ve come.  My appreciation of the people I have met through this journey and the incredible team I leave behind, is immense.” 

Grant, who joined the Foundation two years ago and was based in North Carolina, worked to strengthen Wikimedia’s online infrastructure to increase its reliability and to ensure that people around the globe could access free knowledge whenever they needed it. While Grant and his growing team work largely behind the scenes, they are the reason we have the platform and ability to elevate the voices of our community members and provide free knowledge to the world.  

In Grant's words: 

“My last two years serving the free knowledge movement have been incredibly rewarding and challenging. I’m so proud of what the Foundation Technology team has accomplished, especially with the unique set of challenges this year has brought. There is never a perfect time to leave, but I am confident that this work is in the most capable hands. It’s been a privilege to support my team as they have worked side-by-side with movement volunteers to strengthen our online infrastructure and ensure that Wikimedia remains a trusted source for open knowledge. Together, we evolved and scaled our platform to ensure that people across the globe have 24/7, uninterrupted access to our information when they need it most.” 

While transitions are always challenging, they are also a natural part of evolution and growth of organizations. The Foundation's Transition team - Amanda, Jaime, and Robyn - is working closely with the Board Transition Committee, as well as other relevant Board Committees, to ensure smooth operations during this period. We remain very confident that together, along with our communities, we can build a future for the Foundation that will better serve our important movement goals and strategy.  As we work through the transition, including the ongoing process of identifying the next CEO/ED, we will continue to provide relevant updates.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Board, please join me in wishing Grant and Heather the best of luck.



Raju Narisetti
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