Earlier today, I announced to my colleagues at the Wikimedia Foundation my intention to step down as CEO later this spring. April 15th will be my last day, marking my seven-year anniversary with the Foundation and the movement. This was not an easy decision, but it is the right one. For now, I want to share with you why I’m moving on, and what comes next. I’ll save deeper reflections on where we are as a movement for later.
In some ways, this was the easiest hard decision I’ve ever made. It’s never exactly a good time to step away — transitions always have some rough edges — but it’s always best to do so when the organization is strong, and before you’ve overstayed your welcome. The movement is in a good, strong place. Our communities are growing, our readership is too. Our 20th birthday, the launch of our Universal Code of Conduct, and the movement strategy recommendations are all milestone moments of solidity and strength. I have great hopes and confidence in the upcoming plans for strategy implementation, particularly the work on the movement charter and interim global council. We are healthy, and thriving.
As for me, I’m going to take a break, and a research fellowship, as a place to think about what’s next. It’s hard to think about your future when you’re fully in your present, and for the past seven years, I’ve been fully present for this movement. But as I look around, I see global challenges such as polarization, inequality, and climate change, as well as opportunities for generational renewal and optimism. As a Wikimedian, I lean toward optimism, and plan to head in that direction.
Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher is Stepping Down
Filed by February 4, 2021on