Transfer of authority
Overview and definitions
In Wikimedia affairs authority is currently held by the Wikimedia board, consisting of five members, three of whom can be expected to vote as Jimmy Wales desires, and two of whom have been selected by the membership.
In addition, Jimmy Wales exerts considerable informal influence through his role as founder and as current provider of rack space and bandwidth for the project; and his role as media representative for the Foundation and the projects its hosts.
The Wikimedia Foundation (its board, appointed bodies and officers), has overall responsibility for Wikimedia finances, properties and interproject co-ordination, including decisions about which projects the Foundation should host.
The individuals who grant a project a license also play a major role, for they can choose to remain with the projects on Wikimedia hosts, spend more or less time with them there or ultimately produce complementary projects hosted elsewhere or non-complementary forked projects hosted elsewhere. This serves to exert a controlling influence on the Wikimedia Board, since departure of a large number of unhappy contributors would slow the growth of the projects and possibly produce effective competitors.
The Foundation Board may at its discretion transfer any of its authority to appointed officers, deliberative groups or to projects and associations under its aegis. Some such transfers may require a change of the by-laws.