[Foundation-l] A time of transition

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Tue Jul 22 15:27:33 UTC 2008

I've arrived home from Wikimania and am now starting to settle back into 
things. Thank you to everyone, whether on this list, privately, or the 
many people I spoke with at Wikimania, for your good wishes. I'm sorry I 
could not express my appreciation earlier, but as one of the few people 
in this world without a laptop it seems, I'm hardly ever online while 

I'm excited about the future of our projects and that of the Wikimedia 
Foundation as an organization, and look forward to seeing what I can do 
to help with that as chair of the Board of Trustees. Florence has been a 
wonderful example of dedication and commitment in that role. She's a 
tough act to follow, and I probably can never match the amount of time 
she put into it.

Fortunately, the idea is that I shouldn't have to. By building a strong 
staff, the foundation makes it more feasible for board members to 
fulfill their responsibilities and still remain volunteers. We're slowly 
getting there, even though it will always remain more demanding than 
your average board.

The close to two years with Florence as chair involved a lot of changes, 
many of them dramatic. The foundation went from having a temporary ED 
who also held a separate position, to having no ED at all, then to a 
manager without the title, and finally to a full-fledged dedicated ED. 
There have been times when the board had to run the organization 
directly, which did not work well (no fault of Florence, since without 
her effort things would not even have worked as well as they did), while 
now we are moving much more toward strategy and oversight, and things 
are working significantly better. Hopefully we can continue the 
transition in this direction.

--Michael Snow

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