[Foundation-l] Policy governance ends

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Thu Apr 19 16:36:48 UTC 2007

On 4/18/07, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> But the Wikimedia Foundation is also a business, hence the name Wikimedia
> Foundation, Inc. It is a not for profit, but that still means it is a
> business--just that there are no shareholders, and instead of measuring our  success in
> dollars (or euros or yen), we measure it in free content for the  world. We
> are a vast internet business, and Florence, our CEO, is roughly the  equivalent
> of the CEO of Amazon, of Ebay, or Google.
Well, first off I dispute that the WMF is a business.  The name
represents that it is a corporation, but "corporation" doesn't mean
the same thing as "business".  But that's really a matter of
semantics, I suppose.

But more importantly, I don't think the WMF is anywhere near the
equivalent of an Amazon, or Ebay, or Google.  Sure, the Wikipedia
website gets a lot of hits, rivaling and surpassing the websites of
those companies you've named, but that's about as far as the analogy

> And I wonder what would happen to Amazon, Ebay, or Google if their CEO  would
> ask on a public mailing list, "So, how do you think we should run this
> thing?"
I'd assume that the CEO already knew the answer, and was looking for
different points of view.  But with the WMF, it's much different,
because it's already clear that things are a big mess
organizationally.  For that I do blame the board, though it's not
clear that any of the board positions which are currently up for
re-election are ones that need to be swapped out.  The WMF has
improved dramatically since the last election, in my opinion.

> I, for one, would sell my stock ... cheap.
How exactly does that fit into your analogy? This would be equivalent
to posting pot shots at the CEO on the mailing list and then running
for the board against people other than that CEO?

By the way, is Ant CEO?  I thought she was only chair of the board and
the board decided against her being CEO.  Chair of the board is a
*much* different position from CEO.


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