Archive:Press releases/WMF announces new ED Lila Tretikov

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

Wikimedia Foundation names Lila Tretikov as its new Executive Director

(San Francisco, CA) May 1, 2014 -- The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation today announced the appointment of the Foundation's new Executive Director, Lila Tretikov. The Executive Director is the chief executive officer for the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that operates Wikipedia, and is responsible for setting strategy and managing operations. It is a central position in a complex global volunteer-driven movement, which is building the largest collection of shared knowledge in human history, used by over a half-billion people around the world.

Lila Tretikov is a respected leader in open source technology. She is known for her intellectual curiosity, highly collaborative style, and deep passion for her work. She served most recently as Chief Product Officer at SugarCRM in Cupertino, California.

"As growing numbers of people around the world rely on Wikipedia and our sister projects for free information, our movement will be strengthened by the leadership of Lila Tretikov," said Wikimedia Foundation Board Chair Jan-Bart de Vreede. "She is an exceptional leader with a passion for knowledge, a deep technical and product background, and highly collaborative approach. We are all very excited to have brought her on-board. ”

“When I got the news, I thought, 'This is big in every way: A big website -- the fifth most popular in the world. A big community -- 80,000 active Wikimedians from around the globe. And a big mission -- nothing less than making the sum of all human knowledge freely available to all,’” said Lila Tretikov. “When I thought about why I wanted to take on a challenge this big, the answer was clear: Becoming a Wikimedian is an opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Lila spent most of her childhood in the Soviet Union. In 1994, she came to the United States to study computer science and art, combining two very different disciplines to build exceptional products for the emerging tech industry. Prior to her work at SugarCRM, Lila worked on open source projects at Sun Microsystems and designed software to provide free visualization of the newly mapped Human Genome as part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research. She studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

"Running the Wikimedia Foundation is a unique role that requires an unusual mix of skills and capabilities, and I think Lila has exactly what we need," said Sue Gardner, the Wikimedia Foundation's outgoing Executive Director. "The Wikimedia Foundation needs a leader who is open and flexible and consultative, but who also knows when to stand firm and be brave, particularly against efforts to censor Wikipedia or intimidate Wikipedians. I believe Lila will be flexible where possible, but firm when necessary."

Lila's appointment is effective June 1, 2014, at which time Sue Gardner will become a special advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation.

“On behalf of the Wikimedia movement, I would like to sincerely thank our outgoing Executive Director, Sue Gardner,” said de Vreede. "Over the past seven years Sue's leadership has built the Wikimedia Foundation from a tiny non-profit into a highly-effective, purposeful, well-funded and well-managed organization. I look forward to Sue's ongoing counsel and support in the months and years ahead."

Official biography of Lila Tretikov can be found here. High resolution images can be found on Wikimedia Commons. A list of Questions and Answers is also available.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit 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 495 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property worldwide (comScore, March 2014). Available in 287 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 30 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Contact for press inquiries

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