January 21, 2022

Lila Tretikov Has Resigned Her Position as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation

Lila Tretikov has resigned her position as executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. She has served as exec. director since June 1, 2014.

Here’s the full text of her announcement to the Wikimedia community. It’s also posted below.

It is with great respect that I have tendered, and the board has accepted, my resignation as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation earlier this week.

I am both inspired by, and proud of, the many great things we have all accomplished at the Foundation over the last two years, most significantly reversing the loss of our editorial community. I would like to thank our  Board of Trustees  and  Advisors, our  Foundation staff, as well as the many outstanding  community members  for their support and encouragement on this journey. I  remain passionate about the value and potential of open knowledge and Wikimedia to change the world.

My last day at the Foundation will be March 31, 2016.

Wikimedia occupies a special place in the world. It is a cultural and technological revolution. Change is necessary to keep it thriving. In bringing me in as the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation the Board tasked me with making  changes  to serve the next generation and ensure our impact in the future.

Driving these changes has been challenging, and I have always appreciated the open and honest discourse we have had along the way. However, I am moved by the accomplishments we have achieved during this time:

Strategically, we laid out our summary of the vision for  united in knowledge  and future of Wikimedia last June.

Operationally, we have reformed our procedures and initiated key  performance metrics and reviews.

Technologically we have introduced innovative approaches such as  machine learning  and  mobile  applications, started improvements in search, grew  translations  and dramatically improved website  performance.

In 2015, we made visual editor the default for all new users on English Wikipedia.

We united our community support departments and created a new community tech team to address  community needs.

Profoundly, for the first time in seven years, highly active editor numbers have  increased
and overall editor decline has stopped.

Equitably,  I am proud of our efforts to  address the gender gap, our growing focus on site safety and  anti-harassment  initiatives and child protection — I believe these are essential to protecting the fundamental principles of tolerance, open discourse and mutual respect — our greatest strengths.

We fought against  censorship and surveillance, which pose severe existential threats to our mission of free knowledge.

Financially, we grew rapidly in 2014 to seed and launch the  Wikimedia Endowment  and secure our future for years to come.

I move on with confidence that the Foundation can meet new challenges in a challenging environment.

I believe in our ability to continue to lead through this change.

At this critical juncture for the Foundation, and for the free and open knowledge movement as a whole, solidarity, creativity, adaptability and passion will continue to propel our movement forward, and empower our vision towards our future.

I will support the process of identifying our new leadership in every way that I can, and offer my assistance to the Board as they conduct their search for my successor. It has been an honor to serve and to contribute to our great movement.

With warm regards,


See Also: “Executive Transition Planning” (via Wikimedia-Announce List)

See Also: Knight Foundation Grant Request Tears at Wikipedia’s Community

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.