The function of this position is to run the business side of the Wikimedia Foundation so as to provide resources to keep the projects going. For the most part, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director will not be involved with how the community operates on individual projects.
- See also: Wikimedia Foundation Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director/Updates and Wikimedia Foundation Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director/Presentations
To help inform the decision making of the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, they often participate in community events, host office hours, and send updates to the communities on their activities and the activities of the Wikimedia Foundation.
As the primary staff representative to the broader public, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director is often called upon to participate in, and sometimes speak at, events held by outside organizations.
The position was created in 2006 as the Wikimedia Foundation's workload expanded and required a growing staff to support the volunteer Board of Trustees.