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Wikimedia Foundation/Chief Executive Officer/History

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Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer is the senior staff officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, overseeing the operations of the Foundation and its professional staff. The Chief Executive Officer reports to the Board of Trustees and is supported by the Office of the CEO.

The CEO is responsible for running the business side of the Wikimedia Foundation, engaging with communities to inform decision making, and representing the Wikimedia Foundation to the broader public.

Since June 2006, the position of chief executive officer or executive director at the Wikimedia Foundation has been held by five people.

Current Chief Executive Officer (January 2022 –)[edit]

Maryana Iskander, Wikimedia Foundation's current Chief Executive Officer

On 14 September 2021, the Foundation announced the hiring of Maryana Iskander as Chief Executive Officer, effective 3 January 2022:

Hiring committee:

Former Chief Executive Officers and Executive Directors[edit]

Brad Patrick, Wikimedia Foundation's first interim Executive Director

June 2006 – January 2007[edit]

On 12 June 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation announced the hiring of Brad Patrick as interim Executive Director and General Counsel, the latter position on a permanent basis (official press release).

In his position as interim Executive Director, he was tasked with helping find a permanent Executive Director and work to prepare things so that the organization is ready for that person to take over.

For more information, see Brad's personal FAQ.

He resigned as Executive Director in January 2007 and as General Counsel in March 2007 :

January 2007 – December 2007[edit]

Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation's former Executive Director

From April to June 2007, the Foundation searched for an Executive Director (see "Job openings" at that time). In July, the Foundation announced the hiring of Sue Gardner as Consultant and Special Advisor.

In October 2007, the Board of Trustees created the Executive Director Subcommittee tasked with finding, monitoring and reporting on, and (if necessary) firing an Executive Director. The membership consisted of trustees Jan-Bart de Vreede (Jan-Bart), Kat Walsh (Mindspillage), and Florence Nibart-Devouard (Anthere).

December 2007 – April 2014[edit]

The Foundation announced in December 2007 that it concluded its search for an Executive Director and the hiring of Sue Gardner:

In early 2013, Sue announced that she intended to step down after an appropriate successor was found. An Executive Director Transition Team started operating:

May 2014 – March 2016[edit]

Lila Tretikov, Wikimedia Foundation's former Executive Director

The Foundation announced in May 2014 the hiring of Lila Tretikov as its new Executive Director:

Job listing for new ED:

On 25 February 2016, Lila announced that she had resigned, effective 31 March 2016. A transition process was initiated:

March 2016 – April 2021[edit]

Katherine Maher, Wikimedia Foundation's former Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

On 10 March 2016, the Foundation announced the appointment of Katherine Maher as interim Executive Director, effective 14 March 2016:

On 24 June 2016, the Foundation announced the conclusion of its search and the appointment of Katherine as Executive Director, effective 23 June 2016:

Transition team:

On 30 January 2019, the Board of Trustees changed the role's title from Executive Director to Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director.

On 4 February 2021, Katherine announced that she intended to step down effective 15 April 2021. A Chief Executive Officer Transition Team started operating: