[Foundation-l] [Announcement] Danese Cooper joins Wikimedia as CTO

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 28 20:16:58 UTC 2010

Hi folks,

I'm delighted to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation's new Chief
Technical Officer is Danese Cooper, an experienced technology manager
and open-source evangelist. Danese will start with Wikimedia on
February 4, 2010.

As you know, we've been searching for a CTO since last fall, when
Brion announced his decision to leave Wikimedia for StatusNet. We were
looking for someone with plenty of leadership experience and a deep
understanding of open source technology, who could lead our technical
staff, evangelize on behalf of Mediawiki, and set up systems and
processes to help our staff and Wikimedia technology volunteers work
successfully together. Danese fits the bill on all counts: I'm very
happy she'll be joining us.

Danese has a wealth of experience in open source technology. Most
recently, she developed open source strategy for the tech start-up
REvolution Computing. Prior to that, she was Senior Director of Open
Source Strategies at Intel from 2005 until 2009, and Chief Open Source
Evangelist at Sun Microsystems from 1999 to 2005. In those roles, she
led or supported major open source initiatives, including Sun's
OpenOffice.org application suite, the Java platform, JXTA, NetBeans,
GridEngine, OpenSolaris and Intel's Channel Software Operations and
Moblin platform initiatives. Prior to working at Sun, she managed
technology teams at Symantec and at Apple Computing for a total of
nine years.

Danese is a Board member at the Open Source Initiative, the non-profit
organization that maintains the Open Source Definition and approves
open source software licenses. She is also a member of the Apache
Software Foundation, and serves on a Special Advisory Board for
Mozilla. Danese has lived and traveled internationally, particularly
in developing countries, and speaks several languages, including
French and Moroccan Arabic.

As CTO, Danese will be responsible for ensuring Wikipedia and the
other Wikimedia projects run reliably and perform well from a
technical standpoint. She will also be responsible for supporting the
development of Wikimedia's open source software stack including
MediaWiki, and for creating technical strategy and technical projects
to drive increases in Wikimedia projects' reach, quality and
participation. Her background as an evangelist will be particularly
important, because the health of the Wikimedia volunteer developer
community is critical to Wikimedia's ability to successfully serve
people in multiple geographies and languages.

All technical staff and contractors will report to Danese. Initially,
Danese will focus on filling some key staffing gaps, and on leading
the stabilization of Wikimedia's technology infrastructure: ensuring
predictable and secure operations and backups, improving monitoring,
APIs and database dumps, and establishing an additional US-based data
centre to give us safe fail-over capability. She has an important job
and lots to do: I ask you all to join me in welcoming and supporting

Danese will begin her work February 3. Until June 30, Danese has a
standing one day/week commitment to support the code review process of
the SETI Institute.

Finally, I want to thank the Walker Talent Group
(www.walkertalentgroup.com) for its pro bono work helping recruit
Danese, as well as Advisory Board member Roger McNamee for introducing
Wikimedia to Walker. Their help is much appreciated.

Sue Gardner
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office

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