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Archive:Press releases/Danese Cooper joins Wikimedia as CTO

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Wikimedia Foundation Hires Danese Cooper as Chief Technical Officer

SAN FRANCISCO, January, 28 2010 -- The Wikimedia Foundation today announced that it has hired open source evangelist and experienced technology manager Danese Cooper as its new Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Cooper will begin her work in Wikimedia's San Francisco office in February. As CTO, Cooper will be responsible for developing and executing Wikimedia's technical strategy and leading its technology team. This includes ensuring the Wikimedia sites, including Wikipedia, operate smoothly as readership continues to grow, as well as driving the continuing innovation of Wikimedia's software platform to service Wikimedia readers and editors.

“Danese has the perfect mix of open source commitment and managerial experience, and her background as an evangelist is particularly important to the Wikimedia Foundation," said Sue Gardner, executive director at Wikimedia Foundation. "In order to continue successfully serving hundreds of millions of readers in hundreds of countries and languages, Wikimedia depends on an active community of volunteers to develop and localize the software. I'm counting on Danese to grow and develop that network.”

Most recently, Cooper 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.

Cooper 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.

"As a long-time Wikipedia enthusiast and supporter of Open Knowledge worldwide, I'm thrilled by the opportunity to invest directly in the evolution of the Wikimedia Foundation. I'm joining a great team, both at the Foundation itself and in the communities it supports, and the challenge is both exciting and daunting. I can't wait to get started!"

Wikimedia has been seeking a CTO since its first-ever employee, CTO Brooke Vibber, took a senior engineering role with an open source start-up company late last year. The search process was supported by Walker Talent Group (www.walkertalentgroup.com) on a pro bono basis.

High Resolution photograph of Danese can be found in Wikimedia Commons.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 345 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property worldwide (December, 2010). Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 14 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

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