[Foundation-l] Erik's New Job

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Wed Dec 19 08:05:31 UTC 2007

phoebe ayers wrote:

> As you all know, I am all in favor of professionalism, but I am also
> in favor of knowing what's going on, and I think we all greatly value
> the sense that our ideas and work as community members might have an
> impact in making decisions like this.
> -- phoebe
> _____________________

Hi Phoebe, etc.

Answers to some of the questions that have been raised, below.......


- Why wasn't the position advertised?

It's completely normal, in some circumstances, to not advertise. In this 
instance, the job requirements were pretty specific: I was looking for a 
longtime community member, ideally with a good understanding of the 
organization's history and how it works today, and with good 
relationships in the free culture movement.  Someone who is solid 
technically. Who is willing and able to relocate to San Francisco.  
Ideally with experience living or working outside North America, and 
with languages other than English.

There is not a long list of people who fit those requirements, and my 
feeling was that I likely wouldn't surface any through advertising: if 
they existed, I almost certainly already knew about them.

- Why wasn't this whole process more public/inclusive?

I respect the position of the community members who want transparency 
and openness. But transparency is always tough when it comes to 
individual staffing issues.  In this instance, I planned to hire a 
deputy only_if_ I could find someone who fit the requirements I named 
above. Since I was clearly not going to publicly evaluate individual 
candidates, I don't think a public process would've been all that useful.

- Is it a good idea for someone to shift from staff to board, or vice 
versa, with no waiting period?

This has been discussed a fair bit by the board and the community, and 
the board has not put in place any restrictions around such movements.  
I think the organization has not yet gotten to consensus, and it's 
possible that the harm -in restricting access to the tiny pool of people 
with Wikimedia organizational experience- might in fact outweigh the 
good. Regardless - there is no requirement for a waiting period, and I 
see no particular argument for one in this instance.

- Has Erik resigned from his other commitments?

Yes, Erik has resigned from the board and from his role as CTO of Open 

- Is Erik legally able to work in the United States?


- Did Erik recuse himself from the board vote on Sue as ED because she 
had already offered him the deputy job?

Yes, at that point we were talking about the deputy role, and that's why 
Erik recused himself.

- Is there a formal job description?

Yes, attached. Because it's a new position, it will likely not play out 
exactly as detailed here, but this is a snapshot of what we imagine, at 
this moment, the job will look like.

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