[Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Liam Wyatt
On Sunday, 5 June 2016, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  Sue served as a special advisor until May 31, 2016. Her pay included
> compensation for her extended role during the ED transition, and to match
> market rates for a role of this nature in organizations of similar size to
> the Wikimedia Foundation.


Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue remained
the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly higher
rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is, well
beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the employment of
the person who replaced her)?

Interesting that Sue's contract ended on precisely the same day that
Lodewijk reiterated his questions about the nature of her contract?

- Liam


--
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Peace, love & metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
On 5 Jun 2016 05:19, "Greg Varnum" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>....
>
> John asked about filing and other fees paid by Jones Day, and if the fees
were separate from consulting costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy,
quick way to divide the Jones Day expenses into registration fees and legal
fees, but we can provide more information about where the costs came from.
Each trademark application costs about $1,000–5,000 (sometimes more),
including filing fees and attorney’s fees. The cost for each application
depends on the country’s application fees, the country’s administrative
hurdles, the breadth of protection we are seeking, whether we can reuse
materials prepared for previous applications, and whether we encounter
resistance from trademark offices or other trademark holders.

Your response isnt clear, but it strongly implies the stated US$1.7M stated
on page p.61 does include the fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government
bodies around the world.  No surprise there.  But it is surprising that
Jones Day doesnt provide detailed invoices that separate their own services
from fees they have paid on the WMF's behalf.

If the WMF doesnt know what the fees cost, the WMF does not know how much
extra it paid for an external consultant to do the paperwork for them ... ?

How much will it cost for someone to split the 1.7 M bill?

Their relationship with WMF has come a long way since the 'pro bono' work
that Jones Day did to recommend acquiring a trademark on a public domain
logo (and somehow convincing many WMF staff that it was a brilliant idea).

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Logo/Request_for_consultation#Legal_representation

> Finally, regarding John's question about non-program service investment
in Europe (page 35), this represents our foreign currency bank accounts
with JP Morgan in the UK. The purpose of this holding is to retain
donations received in EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD in their original currency to
minimize currency exchange risks.

Do I understand correctly that the 5.2M was to meet minimum account opening
deposit criteria for four accounts for the four currency.

The money cant be withdrawn while these accounts are open? Is it being
managed by an investment fund?  If so, which one, or what is the expected
rate of return on this investment.  Did the WMF have an option for which
fund was used, or was it stipulated by JP Morgan/ etc?

--
John
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Tim Landscheidt
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
(anonymous) wrote:

> […]

> This remains contradictory, and that is why I'm trying to get some clarity
> on the role Sue played in the past two years. The tasks described by
> Patricio in his response to the Signpost sound to me (but I might be naive
> in this) to be mostly relevant to the initial transition period, and not to
> span 2 years. Is Patricio underselling Sue's involvement and was there a
> reason not to mention her as contractor? Am I somehow misunderstanding the
> compensation issue (i.e. was there a compensation for earlier years, or was
> it lowered)?

> […]

Is compensation for earlier years legal in the US?  In Ger-
many, since the clarification in the Mannesmann trial
(cf. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mannesmann-Prozess), this
would not be possible.

Tim


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Fæ
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
On 5 June 2016 at 02:28, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Sunday, 5 June 2016, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue remained
> the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly higher
> rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is, well
> beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the employment of
> the person who replaced her)?

Yes, this jumped out for me. I can understand paying out a 12 month
golden handshake on the way out, and paying a previous CEO for a few
days or weeks support during handover, but continuing to pay out at an
eye-watering equivalent salary of $300,000 per annum, was a
super-duper bonus for Sue.

However this is wrapped up in the normal "nothing to see here,
move-along" WMF PR speak, these lottery prize level payouts have been
a terrible, terrible deal in terms of the WMF delivering on its goals
and values. I certainly did not see Sue saying anything in public to
help avoid or repair any of the WMF board's strategic disasters in its
highly public annus horribilis. I doubt that in truth she did much
more in private, sorry, it's just not credible that the WMF has all
its strategic manipulators hidden away in private rooms as if this
were a court for the Borgia family.

I am utterly convinced that the WMF would do exactly as well, and
possibly even better, by paying a CEO slightly less than it currently
pays it's head of legal, certainly it would be rather stupid to pump
up the interim CEO's salary by three times to match the celebrity CEO
salaries that the WMF seems to have locked itself into.

Fae
--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gnangarra
this is worth reading
http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060455/future-of-philanthropy/demanding-that-nonprofits-not-pay-for-overhead-is-preventing-them-fro

On 5 June 2016 at 16:23, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 June 2016 at 02:28, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Sunday, 5 June 2016, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> > Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue remained
> > the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly higher
> > rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is, well
> > beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the employment of
> > the person who replaced her)?
>
> Yes, this jumped out for me. I can understand paying out a 12 month
> golden handshake on the way out, and paying a previous CEO for a few
> days or weeks support during handover, but continuing to pay out at an
> eye-watering equivalent salary of $300,000 per annum, was a
> super-duper bonus for Sue.
>
> However this is wrapped up in the normal "nothing to see here,
> move-along" WMF PR speak, these lottery prize level payouts have been
> a terrible, terrible deal in terms of the WMF delivering on its goals
> and values. I certainly did not see Sue saying anything in public to
> help avoid or repair any of the WMF board's strategic disasters in its
> highly public annus horribilis. I doubt that in truth she did much
> more in private, sorry, it's just not credible that the WMF has all
> its strategic manipulators hidden away in private rooms as if this
> were a court for the Borgia family.
>
> I am utterly convinced that the WMF would do exactly as well, and
> possibly even better, by paying a CEO slightly less than it currently
> pays it's head of legal, certainly it would be rather stupid to pump
> up the interim CEO's salary by three times to match the celebrity CEO
> salaries that the WMF seems to have locked itself into.
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pine W
I've been following this discussion with some interest. Can someone point
us to where Sue's compensation, after she left the Executive Director role,
was budgeted in the WMF annual plans? That money cannot have come out of
nowhere. Which line item, or line items, in the 2015-2016 Annual Plan were
tapped for these funds?

A second question. WMF demands exhaustive reporting from affiliates for far
smaller amounts of money than Sue received. I am hoping that WMF followed
good practice by having a careful accounting of how Sue's time was used to
benefit WMF in a manner consistent with the intent of donors when they give
to WMF. Is there an accounting for Sue's use of time as a contractor, and
if so, in what level of detail do those records exist?

My impression from Jan-Bart's emails was that Sue's role as Special Advisor
was a volunteer role, similar to Advisory Board members. Why was Sue's
contractor status not disclosed in those emails?

As Lodewijk said, why was Sue not shown on the public list of paid staff
and contractors? Interns who earn far less than $300k per year are included
on that list; I cannot imagine what good reason there would be to have
excluded Sue from the list unless there was an intent to hide that she
continued to be paid by WMF.

I am greatly troubled by this situation. It was opaque, the accounting
appears to be lax, and the more I look at it the more it seems to have been
intentionally concealed in a manner that was inappropriate and designed to
avoid transparency and accountability.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Fæ
In reply to this post by Gnangarra
Thanks Gnangarra.

I'm familiar with Bridgespan, and when I worked as a strategy
consultant, I used the "starvation cycle" myself. It's a way of
framing the need for improvement differently from simply insisting
that 5% is saved each year, and instead using more meaningful
strategic goals.

This piece in no way explains why the WMF is in the habit of paying
its CEO twice what the UK Government pays its Prime Minister. I doubt
anyone believes that the WMF job is twice as stressful, delivers twice
the value, is twice as accountable or twice as hard.

If we were to bring some hard numbers into the WMF board to
/benchmark/ the CEO salary decision making process, compare the WMF
CEO package to that of charities of the same size to the WMF. Here's a
few facts from a survey of UK charities:[1]
* In the 100 highest paying charities, CEOs are paid a median of $235,000.
* Cancer Research UK have an income of $770m and pay its CEO, Sir
Harpal Kumar, $330,000.
* Barnardo's have an income of $400m and pay Peter Brook a salary of $215,000.
* Scope has over 3,500 employees, an income of $140m, and pay Richard
Hawkes a salary of $200,000.

Probably the best comparative example from this handful is Cancer
Research UK (CRUK) as they are both in the technology and
science/academic sector and pay an almost identical CEO salary as the
WMF does. Their strategic goal is to find new cures for cancer
applying leading edge science, and run a massive programme of public
communication and education (including improving Wikipedia articles,
which I was lucky enough to help out with!). Their direct spend on
scientific research projects is over $165m,[2] more than a magnitude
larger than the WMF's spend on software development and with far, far
greater technical and ethical challenges.

The reason that the WMF rewards its CEO at the same prestigious level
as CRUK, is because they are trapped in the Silicon Valley bubble and
fixed in the belief that they must pay top executive salaries
competing with commercial Silicon Valley IT companies, rather than
comparing themselves to charities or educational institutions. If the
WMF board really want to shake up their strategy, they should start
planning to have some development and management teams in cities other
than San Francisco, if only to unlock themselves from their current
unrealistic group-think, and start behaving like a leading edge
professional educational charity, rather than a for-profit "breaking
everything is good" Silicon Valley dot com.

Links:
1. http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/charity-pay-study-highest-earners/management/article/1335060
2. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/our-organisation/annual-report-and-accounts/annual-review

Fae

On 6 June 2016 at 04:10, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:

> this is worth reading
> http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060455/future-of-philanthropy/demanding-that-nonprofits-not-pay-for-overhead-is-preventing-them-fro
>
> On 5 June 2016 at 16:23, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 5 June 2016 at 02:28, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On Sunday, 5 June 2016, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> ...
>> > Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue remained
>> > the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly higher
>> > rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is, well
>> > beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the employment of
>> > the person who replaced her)?
>>
>> Yes, this jumped out for me. I can understand paying out a 12 month
>> golden handshake on the way out, and paying a previous CEO for a few
>> days or weeks support during handover, but continuing to pay out at an
>> eye-watering equivalent salary of $300,000 per annum, was a
>> super-duper bonus for Sue.
>>
>> However this is wrapped up in the normal "nothing to see here,
>> move-along" WMF PR speak, these lottery prize level payouts have been
>> a terrible, terrible deal in terms of the WMF delivering on its goals
>> and values. I certainly did not see Sue saying anything in public to
>> help avoid or repair any of the WMF board's strategic disasters in its
>> highly public annus horribilis. I doubt that in truth she did much
>> more in private, sorry, it's just not credible that the WMF has all
>> its strategic manipulators hidden away in private rooms as if this
>> were a court for the Borgia family.
>>
>> I am utterly convinced that the WMF would do exactly as well, and
>> possibly even better, by paying a CEO slightly less than it currently
>> pays it's head of legal, certainly it would be rather stupid to pump
>> up the interim CEO's salary by three times to match the celebrity CEO
>> salaries that the WMF seems to have locked itself into.
>>
>> Fae
>> --
>> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra

--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pine W
With regard to Sue, adding to the list of concerns about the sheer amount
of money is that she wasn't the executive anymore, so why was she being
paid like one?

Pine

On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 9:27 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks Gnangarra.
>
> I'm familiar with Bridgespan, and when I worked as a strategy
> consultant, I used the "starvation cycle" myself. It's a way of
> framing the need for improvement differently from simply insisting
> that 5% is saved each year, and instead using more meaningful
> strategic goals.
>
> This piece in no way explains why the WMF is in the habit of paying
> its CEO twice what the UK Government pays its Prime Minister. I doubt
> anyone believes that the WMF job is twice as stressful, delivers twice
> the value, is twice as accountable or twice as hard.
>
> If we were to bring some hard numbers into the WMF board to
> /benchmark/ the CEO salary decision making process, compare the WMF
> CEO package to that of charities of the same size to the WMF. Here's a
> few facts from a survey of UK charities:[1]
> * In the 100 highest paying charities, CEOs are paid a median of $235,000.
> * Cancer Research UK have an income of $770m and pay its CEO, Sir
> Harpal Kumar, $330,000.
> * Barnardo's have an income of $400m and pay Peter Brook a salary of
> $215,000.
> * Scope has over 3,500 employees, an income of $140m, and pay Richard
> Hawkes a salary of $200,000.
>
> Probably the best comparative example from this handful is Cancer
> Research UK (CRUK) as they are both in the technology and
> science/academic sector and pay an almost identical CEO salary as the
> WMF does. Their strategic goal is to find new cures for cancer
> applying leading edge science, and run a massive programme of public
> communication and education (including improving Wikipedia articles,
> which I was lucky enough to help out with!). Their direct spend on
> scientific research projects is over $165m,[2] more than a magnitude
> larger than the WMF's spend on software development and with far, far
> greater technical and ethical challenges.
>
> The reason that the WMF rewards its CEO at the same prestigious level
> as CRUK, is because they are trapped in the Silicon Valley bubble and
> fixed in the belief that they must pay top executive salaries
> competing with commercial Silicon Valley IT companies, rather than
> comparing themselves to charities or educational institutions. If the
> WMF board really want to shake up their strategy, they should start
> planning to have some development and management teams in cities other
> than San Francisco, if only to unlock themselves from their current
> unrealistic group-think, and start behaving like a leading edge
> professional educational charity, rather than a for-profit "breaking
> everything is good" Silicon Valley dot com.
>
> Links:
> 1.
> http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/charity-pay-study-highest-earners/management/article/1335060
> 2.
> http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/our-organisation/annual-report-and-accounts/annual-review
>
> Fae
>
> On 6 June 2016 at 04:10, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > this is worth reading
> >
> http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060455/future-of-philanthropy/demanding-that-nonprofits-not-pay-for-overhead-is-preventing-them-fro
> >
> > On 5 June 2016 at 16:23, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> On 5 June 2016 at 02:28, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> > On Sunday, 5 June 2016, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> ...
> >> > Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue
> remained
> >> > the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly
> higher
> >> > rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is,
> well
> >> > beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the
> employment of
> >> > the person who replaced her)?
> >>
> >> Yes, this jumped out for me. I can understand paying out a 12 month
> >> golden handshake on the way out, and paying a previous CEO for a few
> >> days or weeks support during handover, but continuing to pay out at an
> >> eye-watering equivalent salary of $300,000 per annum, was a
> >> super-duper bonus for Sue.
> >>
> >> However this is wrapped up in the normal "nothing to see here,
> >> move-along" WMF PR speak, these lottery prize level payouts have been
> >> a terrible, terrible deal in terms of the WMF delivering on its goals
> >> and values. I certainly did not see Sue saying anything in public to
> >> help avoid or repair any of the WMF board's strategic disasters in its
> >> highly public annus horribilis. I doubt that in truth she did much
> >> more in private, sorry, it's just not credible that the WMF has all
> >> its strategic manipulators hidden away in private rooms as if this
> >> were a court for the Borgia family.
> >>
> >> I am utterly convinced that the WMF would do exactly as well, and
> >> possibly even better, by paying a CEO slightly less than it currently
> >> pays it's head of legal, certainly it would be rather stupid to pump
> >> up the interim CEO's salary by three times to match the celebrity CEO
> >> salaries that the WMF seems to have locked itself into.
> >>
> >> Fae
> >> --
> >> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > GN.
> > President Wikimedia Australia
> > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
>
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

geni
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
On 5 June 2016 at 02:28, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Not to put too fine a point on it... But are you saying that Sue remained
> the most highly paid contractor to the WMF, and at a significantly higher
> rate than when she was the actual ED, until FIVE DAYS ago? That is, well
> beyond any 'transition period' (and in fact longer than the employment of
> the person who replaced her)?


Its now been a full working day. Can we have a clarification on this point?

--
geni

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
Hi Greg,

Just to expand a little on what John is saying here, I find it a little odd
that the information to separate out the cost of actually making trademark
applications, and the cost of legal consultants, has not been separated
out.  I confess I'm not that familiar with the rules of Form 990, but in my
experience it would be most irregular to aggregate two expenses as
disparate as that in a general purpose financial statement.

I'm also concerned by the lateness of the filing.  While I'm aware that the
relevant authorities are pretty generous with giving extensions when asked,
filing stuff late is a habit worth kicking.  Otherwise you are very
dependent on the goodwill of whomever you're filing with to avoid
unnecessary penalties.

On a brighter note, I definitely appreciate the work that you're doing to
get this information for us, so thank you for that.

Cheers,
Craig

On 5 June 2016 at 13:09, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 Jun 2016 05:19, "Greg Varnum" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >....
> >
> > John asked about filing and other fees paid by Jones Day, and if the fees
> were separate from consulting costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy,
> quick way to divide the Jones Day expenses into registration fees and legal
> fees, but we can provide more information about where the costs came from.
> Each trademark application costs about $1,000–5,000 (sometimes more),
> including filing fees and attorney’s fees. The cost for each application
> depends on the country’s application fees, the country’s administrative
> hurdles, the breadth of protection we are seeking, whether we can reuse
> materials prepared for previous applications, and whether we encounter
> resistance from trademark offices or other trademark holders.
>
> Your response isnt clear, but it strongly implies the stated US$1.7M stated
> on page p.61 does include the fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government
> bodies around the world.  No surprise there.  But it is surprising that
> Jones Day doesnt provide detailed invoices that separate their own services
> from fees they have paid on the WMF's behalf.
>
> If the WMF doesnt know what the fees cost, the WMF does not know how much
> extra it paid for an external consultant to do the paperwork for them ... ?
>
> How much will it cost for someone to split the 1.7 M bill?
>
> Their relationship with WMF has come a long way since the 'pro bono' work
> that Jones Day did to recommend acquiring a trademark on a public domain
> logo (and somehow convincing many WMF staff that it was a brilliant idea).
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Logo/Request_for_consultation#Legal_representation
>
> > Finally, regarding John's question about non-program service investment
> in Europe (page 35), this represents our foreign currency bank accounts
> with JP Morgan in the UK. The purpose of this holding is to retain
> donations received in EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD in their original currency to
> minimize currency exchange risks.
>
> Do I understand correctly that the 5.2M was to meet minimum account opening
> deposit criteria for four accounts for the four currency.
>
> The money cant be withdrawn while these accounts are open? Is it being
> managed by an investment fund?  If so, which one, or what is the expected
> rate of return on this investment.  Did the WMF have an option for which
> fund was used, or was it stipulated by JP Morgan/ etc?
>
> --
> John
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Pine W
On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 9:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've been following this discussion with some interest. Can someone point
> us to where Sue's compensation, after she left the Executive Director role,
> was budgeted in the WMF annual plans? That money cannot have come out of
> nowhere. Which line item, or line items, in the 2015-2016 Annual Plan were
> tapped for these funds?
>

The 2015-2016 Annual Plan[1] lists 2 FTEs under 'Executive', whereas the
2015-2014 plan[2] listed 1.

I'm not sure if this represents the second full-time equivalent contracting
expense for the former-ED advisor role being added, or if the ED's personal
assistant role got moved in to that 'department', or if that means
something else, but it struck me as odd. (Unlike the other functional
areas, there is no breakdown given by type.)

[1]
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/4/43/WMF2015-16AnnualPlan.pdf
under "Appending B", "Staffing by Functional Area"
[2]
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/e0/2014-15_Wikimedia_Foundation_Plan.pdf
under "Staffing by Functional Area"




>
> A second question. WMF demands exhaustive reporting from affiliates for far
> smaller amounts of money than Sue received. I am hoping that WMF followed
> good practice by having a careful accounting of how Sue's time was used to
> benefit WMF in a manner consistent with the intent of donors when they give
> to WMF. Is there an accounting for Sue's use of time as a contractor, and
> if so, in what level of detail do those records exist?
>
> My impression from Jan-Bart's emails was that Sue's role as Special Advisor
> was a volunteer role, similar to Advisory Board members. Why was Sue's
> contractor status not disclosed in those emails?
>
> As Lodewijk said, why was Sue not shown on the public list of paid staff
> and contractors? Interns who earn far less than $300k per year are included
> on that list; I cannot imagine what good reason there would be to have
> excluded Sue from the list unless there was an intent to hide that she
> continued to be paid by WMF.
>
> I am greatly troubled by this situation. It was opaque, the accounting
> appears to be lax, and the more I look at it the more it seems to have been
> intentionally concealed in a manner that was inappropriate and designed to
> avoid transparency and accountability.
>

Yes, it's worrying whether it's deliberate obfuscation or whether it's a
case of "left hand not knowing what the right is doing".

-- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pine W
I consider the systematic omission of proactive disclosure of this
expenditure of at least $300,000 in donor funds to be financial misconduct
and a breach of trust. It's profoundly contrary to the values that this
organization claims to uphold.

Pine

On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 9:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I've been following this discussion with some interest. Can someone point
> > us to where Sue's compensation, after she left the Executive Director
> role,
> > was budgeted in the WMF annual plans? That money cannot have come out of
> > nowhere. Which line item, or line items, in the 2015-2016 Annual Plan
> were
> > tapped for these funds?
> >
>
> The 2015-2016 Annual Plan[1] lists 2 FTEs under 'Executive', whereas the
> 2015-2014 plan[2] listed 1.
>
> I'm not sure if this represents the second full-time equivalent contracting
> expense for the former-ED advisor role being added, or if the ED's personal
> assistant role got moved in to that 'department', or if that means
> something else, but it struck me as odd. (Unlike the other functional
> areas, there is no breakdown given by type.)
>
> [1]
>
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/4/43/WMF2015-16AnnualPlan.pdf
> under "Appending B", "Staffing by Functional Area"
> [2]
>
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/e0/2014-15_Wikimedia_Foundation_Plan.pdf
> under "Staffing by Functional Area"
>
>
>
>
> >
> > A second question. WMF demands exhaustive reporting from affiliates for
> far
> > smaller amounts of money than Sue received. I am hoping that WMF followed
> > good practice by having a careful accounting of how Sue's time was used
> to
> > benefit WMF in a manner consistent with the intent of donors when they
> give
> > to WMF. Is there an accounting for Sue's use of time as a contractor, and
> > if so, in what level of detail do those records exist?
> >
> > My impression from Jan-Bart's emails was that Sue's role as Special
> Advisor
> > was a volunteer role, similar to Advisory Board members. Why was Sue's
> > contractor status not disclosed in those emails?
> >
> > As Lodewijk said, why was Sue not shown on the public list of paid staff
> > and contractors? Interns who earn far less than $300k per year are
> included
> > on that list; I cannot imagine what good reason there would be to have
> > excluded Sue from the list unless there was an intent to hide that she
> > continued to be paid by WMF.
> >
> > I am greatly troubled by this situation. It was opaque, the accounting
> > appears to be lax, and the more I look at it the more it seems to have
> been
> > intentionally concealed in a manner that was inappropriate and designed
> to
> > avoid transparency and accountability.
> >
>
> Yes, it's worrying whether it's deliberate obfuscation or whether it's a
> case of "left hand not knowing what the right is doing".
>
> -- brion
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Risker
Pine, have you read Patricio's email in the new thread?

Risker

On 7 June 2016 at 20:28, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I consider the systematic omission of proactive disclosure of this
> expenditure of at least $300,000 in donor funds to be financial misconduct
> and a breach of trust. It's profoundly contrary to the values that this
> organization claims to uphold.
>
> Pine
>
> On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 9:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > I've been following this discussion with some interest. Can someone
> point
> > > us to where Sue's compensation, after she left the Executive Director
> > role,
> > > was budgeted in the WMF annual plans? That money cannot have come out
> of
> > > nowhere. Which line item, or line items, in the 2015-2016 Annual Plan
> > were
> > > tapped for these funds?
> > >
> >
> > The 2015-2016 Annual Plan[1] lists 2 FTEs under 'Executive', whereas the
> > 2015-2014 plan[2] listed 1.
> >
> > I'm not sure if this represents the second full-time equivalent
> contracting
> > expense for the former-ED advisor role being added, or if the ED's
> personal
> > assistant role got moved in to that 'department', or if that means
> > something else, but it struck me as odd. (Unlike the other functional
> > areas, there is no breakdown given by type.)
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/4/43/WMF2015-16AnnualPlan.pdf
> > under "Appending B", "Staffing by Functional Area"
> > [2]
> >
> >
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/e0/2014-15_Wikimedia_Foundation_Plan.pdf
> > under "Staffing by Functional Area"
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > > A second question. WMF demands exhaustive reporting from affiliates for
> > far
> > > smaller amounts of money than Sue received. I am hoping that WMF
> followed
> > > good practice by having a careful accounting of how Sue's time was used
> > to
> > > benefit WMF in a manner consistent with the intent of donors when they
> > give
> > > to WMF. Is there an accounting for Sue's use of time as a contractor,
> and
> > > if so, in what level of detail do those records exist?
> > >
> > > My impression from Jan-Bart's emails was that Sue's role as Special
> > Advisor
> > > was a volunteer role, similar to Advisory Board members. Why was Sue's
> > > contractor status not disclosed in those emails?
> > >
> > > As Lodewijk said, why was Sue not shown on the public list of paid
> staff
> > > and contractors? Interns who earn far less than $300k per year are
> > included
> > > on that list; I cannot imagine what good reason there would be to have
> > > excluded Sue from the list unless there was an intent to hide that she
> > > continued to be paid by WMF.
> > >
> > > I am greatly troubled by this situation. It was opaque, the accounting
> > > appears to be lax, and the more I look at it the more it seems to have
> > been
> > > intentionally concealed in a manner that was inappropriate and designed
> > to
> > > avoid transparency and accountability.
> > >
> >
> > Yes, it's worrying whether it's deliberate obfuscation or whether it's a
> > case of "left hand not knowing what the right is doing".
> >
> > -- brion
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pine W
Thank you for pointing that out, Risker. The emails indeed cross paths and
I did not see it.

The point remains: the standard is proactive disclosure, not minimum and
delayed disclosure. The latter happened, and it is not ok. It is a relief
that Sue was not getting $300k per year as an advisor, which helps the
situation considerably. Regardless, there should have been proactive
disclosure. I am glad that Patricio agrees. I think that we should consider
more robust accounting procedures in the future. I do not appreciate being
blindsided.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Risker
I think Patricio would be surprised that you have interpreted his email
that way, Pine. There's nothing in his email that says anything about
proactive disclosure of the salaries of individual employees or
contractors. It would probably be appropriate to extend your thanks to Sue,
who has agreed to the posting of her own direct salary for the 2015-16
fiscal year, despite the fact that it would not come close to the Form 990
reporting threshold.

Risker

On 7 June 2016 at 20:42, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for pointing that out, Risker. The emails indeed cross paths and
> I did not see it.
>
> The point remains: the standard is proactive disclosure, not minimum and
> delayed disclosure. The latter happened, and it is not ok. It is a relief
> that Sue was not getting $300k per year as an advisor, which helps the
> situation considerably. Regardless, there should have been proactive
> disclosure. I am glad that Patricio agrees. I think that we should consider
> more robust accounting procedures in the future. I do not appreciate being
> blindsided.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pete Forsyth-2
Risker, perhaps you missed this part of Patricio's message; I'm pretty
sure this is what Pine was referring to:

> In re-reading Jan-Bart’s original email [1] where he stated that Sue was
staying on as an advisor, it isn’t explicit that this was a paid position.
We should have been more clear on this point.

Speaking for myself, along with Patricio, I do appreciate Sue's
willingness to disclose information, presumably in the interest of
resolving this matter. I am accustomed to Sue acting in the best
interest of the Wikimedia movement, but we shouldn't take it for
granted; this would all be a much bigger fiasco without that bit of
information.

I do think it helps a great deal to know that, but it doesn't dismiss
all the important questions. Many of us (who are used to the term
"advisor" being used only for the unpaid advisory board) were
surprised to learn there was compensation at all. In addition, I'm not
so happy to hear from James Heilman (in a Facebook comment) that he
was unaware of Sue's availability as a paid advisor during his tenure
as a Trustee.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


On 6/7/16, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think Patricio would be surprised that you have interpreted his email
> that way, Pine. There's nothing in his email that says anything about
> proactive disclosure of the salaries of individual employees or
> contractors. It would probably be appropriate to extend your thanks to Sue,
> who has agreed to the posting of her own direct salary for the 2015-16
> fiscal year, despite the fact that it would not come close to the Form 990
> reporting threshold.
>
> Risker
>
> On 7 June 2016 at 20:42, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Thank you for pointing that out, Risker. The emails indeed cross paths and
>> I did not see it.
>>
>> The point remains: the standard is proactive disclosure, not minimum and
>> delayed disclosure. The latter happened, and it is not ok. It is a relief
>> that Sue was not getting $300k per year as an advisor, which helps the
>> situation considerably. Regardless, there should have been proactive
>> disclosure. I am glad that Patricio agrees. I think that we should
>> consider
>> more robust accounting procedures in the future. I do not appreciate being
>> blindsided.
>>
>> Pine
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
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>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Pine W
Thanks Pete. I also think that Risker and I have different expectations for
financial disclosure and transparency. My view is influenced by my
experiences with Washington Stare government as well as my experience with
WMF grantmaking, where transparency is prioritized over privacy. Among
other benefits, this approach prevents exactly the kind of surprises that
we are discussing in this thread.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
On Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 10:09 AM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 Jun 2016 05:19, "Greg Varnum" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>....
>>
>> John asked about filing and other fees paid by Jones Day, and if the fees
>> were separate from consulting costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy,
>> quick way to divide the Jones Day expenses into registration fees and legal
>> fees, but we can provide more information about where the costs came from.
>> Each trademark application costs about $1,000–5,000 (sometimes more),
>> including filing fees and attorney’s fees. The cost for each application
>> depends on the country’s application fees, the country’s administrative
>> hurdles, the breadth of protection we are seeking, whether we can reuse
>> materials prepared for previous applications, and whether we encounter
>> resistance from trademark offices or other trademark holders.
>
> Your response isnt clear, but it strongly implies the stated US$1.7M stated
> on page p.61 does include the fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government
> bodies around the world.  No surprise there.  But it is surprising that
> Jones Day doesnt provide detailed invoices that separate their own services
> from fees they have paid on the WMF's behalf.
>
> If the WMF doesnt know what the fees cost, the WMF does not know how much
> extra it paid for an external consultant to do the paperwork for them ... ?
>
> How much will it cost for someone to split the 1.7 M bill?
>
> Their relationship with WMF has come a long way since the 'pro bono' work
> that Jones Day did to recommend acquiring a trademark on a public domain
> logo (and somehow convincing many WMF staff that it was a brilliant idea).
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_Logo/Request_for_consultation#Legal_representation
>
>> Finally, regarding John's question about non-program service investment in
>> Europe (page 35), this represents our foreign currency bank accounts with JP
>> Morgan in the UK. The purpose of this holding is to retain donations
>> received in EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD in their original currency to minimize
>> currency exchange risks.
>
> Do I understand correctly that the 5.2M was to meet minimum account opening
> deposit criteria for four accounts for the four currency.
>
> The money cant be withdrawn while these accounts are open? Is it being
> managed by an investment fund?  If so, which one, or what is the expected
> rate of return on this investment.  Did the WMF have an option for which
> fund was used, or was it stipulated by JP Morgan/ etc?

I havent seen any clarification regarding this.

Was the investment in pound sterling?
The pound has been going down steadily over the last year.
And now we have a steep drop due to Brexit.

Is the investment being used by JP Morgan to support fossil fuel projects?

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
This site
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Chief_Executive_Officer_(CEO)/Salary
States that a US American CEO salary would be from 70k up to 420k a year,
for Ngo 83k less. You are asking where and why the wmf executive director
is in this range Lodewijk?

Rupert
On May 31, 2016 10:21, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Unfortunately I haven't seen an answer to my questions. Could you please
> acknowledge the receipt of the question if you're investigating? Or could
> you just say it is a ridiculous question and that you refuse to answer, if
> you think so? From the more elaborate answer on the Signpost questions, I
> understand that the role continues to this day - which makes it probably
> more relevant.
>
> Please don't retreat in silence again.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> 2016-05-25 14:39 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Thanks Greg for the responses.
> >
> > As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
> > appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for what
> > duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near
> full
> > time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED herself?
> > People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years - was
> > that the case? That would explain again a bit more.
> >
> > Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this
> simply
> > matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something
> else
> > behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).
> >
> > It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!
> >
> > Lodewijk
> >
> > 2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:
> >
> >> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
> >> wrote:
> >> > Greetings,
> >> >
> >> > Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
> >> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
> >> >
> >> > Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services
> (totalling
> >> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our
> >> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen
> >> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks
> >> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our
> global
> >> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015
> >> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different
> >> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal
> services
> >> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
> >> application filing fees.
> >> >
> >> > These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and
> >> revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks
> and
> >> projects, including countries where readership was growing through
> targeted
> >> programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership).
> >> Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease
> in
> >> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial
> foundation
> >> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
> >> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the
> maturity
> >> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
> >> forms of infringement or misuse.
> >>
> >> Hi Gregory,
> >> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
> >> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
> >> around the world?
> >> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
> >> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
> >> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
> >> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
> >> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
> >>
> >> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
> >> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
> >> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
> >> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
> >> have a little more info about this line item?
> >>
> >> --
> >> John Vandenberg
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >>
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
>
> Was the investment in pound sterling?
> The pound has been going down steadily over the last year.
> And now we have a steep drop due to Brexit.


Am not speaking from a position of particular knowledge on this, but the
way I read original the email was simply that income was held in some kind
of depsit account in the currency in which it was received - so GBP income
remained in GBP until there was a need to spend GBP. WMF does after all
have significant expenditures in other currencies than dollars (e.g. grants
and salaries of overseas staff).

Regards,

Chris
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