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Hi everyone,

Many in the community may not have the chance to have met Victoria, so I
want to start by sharing my thanks for her work. The Technology department
at the Wikimedia Foundation does many things, but most simply understood,
they're the ones who keep our projects running, every day of the year, rain
or shine. Unless you're a technical contributor or lurk on IRC, you may not
interact with them in the same way you do with other parts of the
Foundation. But they're utterly critical to Wikimedia, and for the past two
years, Victoria has led this essential department.

When Victoria joined, the Foundation had not had a dedicated CTO in many
years. She spent the better part of the past two years as a tireless
advocate for the work of the Technology department, transforming disparate
pieces into a coherent and compelling program structure. Victoria has never
stopped marveling at how much the department had accomplished on a
shoestring. Together, we worked to try and extend the length of that
shoestring, building out the structures of a team that is increasingly
diverse and incredibly dedicated to the work. Many teams now are in
positions to be much more forward-looking than in many years, with space to
take on new challenges. Theres certainly more to do, but thanks to these
efforts we have a better sense of the ambitious targets that we still need
to reach in service of our mission.

With so much important work to do, we're already planning for a new CTO.
We'll begin preparations for the search immediately, and should launch
formally in February. In the meantime, I am truly grateful to our current
Director of Search Platform Engineering, Erika Bjune, for stepping up to
take on the role of interim CTO. We know this search will likely be on the
longer side, given our unique mission and structure. As such, please engage
with Erika as a full acting CTO, who will keep critical decisions and
programs moving forward. Fortunately, Victoria has also volunteered to stay
on in a consulting role, in order to provide additional support during the
transition and in annual planning. This puts us in a good place, and from
the community, we anticipate you won't even notice a change.

Of course, even though I'm sad Victoria is leaving, I am thrilled that not
only are her skills and experience being recognized but that she is putting
them to such meaningful use at another mission-oriented organization -- and
please do join me in congratulating Victoria on her new role!

We wish you the very best in this next move, and like everyone, warn you
that youll never truly be a former Wikimedian!


On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 4:29 PM Victoria Coleman <vcole...@wikimedia.org>

> Dear all,
> I have some difficult news to share.
> A few months ago and completely out of the blue, an opportunity came up
> for me to exercise the full spectrum of my skills as the CEO of an early
> stage mission oriented startup. It has been a mighty struggle between my
> commitment to my team, the Foundation and  the movement and this
> opportunity to bring all my skills to bear and build something from the
> ground up to do good in the world. I will not lie to you - it has not been
> easy. But ultimately I decided that I have to give it a go and I accepted
> the offer. I plan on starting there on Feb 4th so my last day at the
> Foundation will be Feb 1st.
> These past two years have been amongst the most enjoyable in my
> professional career. Ive enjoyed getting to know the movement and what
> fuels it and Ive been incredibly privileged to work with a Tech team like
> no other. We have together strengthened the technical infrastructure of the
> movement and while much work remains to be done we have a much stronger
> team in place to take the mission to the next level. And I have personally
> made friendships that will last a lifetime.
> The organization I will be moving to is Atlas AI, a public benefit
> corporation supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. I will be leading an
> exceptional team of AI and earth system science experts striving for
> improvements in human well being through data driven insights. Our focus
> areas are drawn from the UNs sustainable development goals of no poverty
> and zero hunger with emphasis on Sub Saharan Africa.
> I leave behind a Technology department that I am certain is well on the
> way to achieving our vision to create the infrastructure for the free
> knowledge movement. I am also pleased that during my tenure, we have built
> leaders who are equipped to take on this challenge.
> Erika Bjune will be serving as interim CTO. Erika joined us a little over
> two years ago and she has distinguished  herself as one of the finest
> people leaders I have ever worked with. Both she and Katherine will have my
> ongoing support  I will stay on in a consulting role to Erika on
> organizational matters and for the mid term planning work we have ahead of
> us in the remainder of the fiscal year.  I know that I am leaving the
> Tech team in good hands until a permanent CTO is hired.
> I want to close this difficult message with my heartfelt thanks to all of
> you for letting me be part of this incredible movement. Being a Wikimedian
> is a great privilege. I wanted you to know that Im not walking away from
> something; I am walking towards  something that is very important to me and
> the world. I will miss you all. Deeply. Truly. And a lot!
> Victoria
> --
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Katherine Maher (she/her)

Executive Director

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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