[Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

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[Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Arnnon Geshuri
It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
around convictions, and open disagreement.


Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
evolve over time as circumstances change.



As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
contributors, and users.
As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.

Regards,
Arnnon
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Pine W
Arnnon,

My impression from the available public evidence is that your membership on
the Board presents significant and unnecessary risks to WMF (particularly
to fundraising, as well as for HR and PR). The evidence available to date
suggests to me that you were a willing and key participant in illegal HR
practices. Based on the available evidence, it seems to me that the
honorable thing for you to do, and the best action for the WMF as well as
for our community, would be for you to resign from the WMF board.

At a minimum, the ongoing controversy regarding your membership is a
time-consuming distraction from our mission, and the controversy consumes
our collective time and resources. That reason alone is sufficient for me
to believe that the best course of action that you could take would be to
resign so that WMF can move on from this controversy and address our many
other challenges.

While I realize that staying on may be your personal preference, I believe
that for the good of WMF and for our collective movement, you should resign.

Pine (speaking in my personal capacity only)

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>
>
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>
>
>
> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
> contributors, and users.
> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>
> Regards,
> Arnnon
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Ruslan Takayev
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Hello Arnnon, and welcome.

It is great that you are working hard to earn our trust.
Unfortunately, your statement, which is somewhat self-serving, totally
omits the issues that a very wide cross-section of the Wikimedia
community has a MAJOR issue with.

So perhaps you can answer some questions:

1) Why did you do it?

2) Would you do it again?

3) What have you learned from you role in the scheme that has cost
those companies hundreds of millions of dollars?

And most importantly,

4) Why should we trust you?

If you can't answer these questions, please resign.

Warmest regards,

Ruslan Takayev

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Todd Allen
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Hello Arnnon,

I'm glad you've decided to join the discussion. (And do appreciate it; I'm
sure by now you know exactly what you're walking into.)

I don't, however, see that your statement says much. The heart of the issue
is that you assisted in implementing and enforcing a "no poaching"
practice, which is an illegal and unethical wage suppression tactic. When
someone did not go along with that practice (whether out of refusal or
simple error), you enthusiastically fired them.

If you would like to work on gaining trust, regardless of what happens with
you and the Board, I believe you ought to directly address that. "I was
just following policy" won't wash here, as it was clear from your
communication that you were well aware that you were helping to enforce
anticompetitive "do not poach" agreements. I think the primary question is,
why did you go along with this illegal practice rather than blowing the
whistle?

Regards,

Todd (Seraphimblade)

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Arnnon Geshuri <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>
>
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>
>
>
> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
> contributors, and users.
> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>
> Regards,
> Arnnon
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Fæ
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
On 26 January 2016 at 19:07, Arnnon Geshuri <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.

There are black and white facts which make you unsuitable to be a WMF
trustee, and which the board of trustees who appointed you were not
all aware of beforehand because you did not think that your key role
in the antitrust scandal was an issue of ethics worth explaining. Your
email statement does not address these key problems and manages to use
a lot of peacock prose which when struck out amounts to "Wikimedians
should move along now, nothing to see".

Press coverage like the BBC's this evening which leads with Jimmy
Wales' face, have damaged the WMF's reputation and our projects that
rely on "Wikimedia" remaining a trusted name.[1][2] As Pine has stated
here, "your membership on the Board presents significant and
unnecessary risks", though the fact is that your failure to resign
gracefully is not a risk, but a major incident and an embarrassment.

Resign your unpaid trusteeship now, as you should have done a
fortnight ago, and save your fellow trustees the indignity of trying
to justify their bad governance in your appointment, rather than
honestly admit failure and reverse their decision.

Links
1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35411208
2. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/01/editors-demand-ouster-of-wikimedia-board-member-involved-in-no-poach-deal/

P.S. How is that nobody can work out who nominated/invited Geshuri for
the trustee position? There can be little doubt that they knew of his
chequered past when they did so.

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

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Todd Allen
It's unfair of anyone to expect Arnnon to comment about the legal case or
the circumstances surrounding it. I'm sure he has a stack of legal advice
and corporate policies that specifically prevent him from answering Todd's
questions or others. Even though I don't support the corporate collusion
that he apparently participated in, I'm starting to feel sympathetic to
Arnnon for what the Board has put him through and for the criticism and
scrutiny he will continue to suffer for as long as he remains on the Board.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Lilburne
In reply to this post by Pine W
On 26/01/2016 20:27, Pine W wrote:
>
> While I realize that staying on may be your personal preference, I believe
> that for the good of WMF and for our collective movement, you should resign.
>
>

A quote from history would have been more succinct:
http://quotationsbook.com/quote/29200/


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Mike Peel
RIP AGF.

(https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assume_good_faith <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assume_good_faith> needs work!)

Mike

> On 26 Jan 2016, at 21:11, Lilburne <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 26/01/2016 20:27, Pine W wrote:
>>
>> While I realize that staying on may be your personal preference, I believe
>> that for the good of WMF and for our collective movement, you should resign.
>>
>>
>
> A quote from history would have been more succinct:
> http://quotationsbook.com/quote/29200/
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Kevin Gorman
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Arnnon -

This is about the first piece of polished communication put out by the
board regarding either recent incident - and given your professional
background, it doesn't really surprise me that you are the first person
involved to put out a polished communication.  I have no doubt that your
backgrounds at Tesla and Google helped you develop a skillset that the WMF
Board truly needs - and those aren't positions you would have held if you
were bad at your job. Unfortunately, your own actions prevent you from
successfully fulfilling the honorable duties of a trustee.  It would be one
thing if the issues at hand were just rumor and innuendo, but there's
already been a half a billion dollar settled class action suit involving a
series of actions where, although you may not have been the absolute
center, you were certainly at least quite visible on center stage, and your
name is mentioned quite a bit on PACER.  Some lawsuits get settled because
it's easier to settle than it is to fight them - that's not the case here.
Even for four tech giants, $415,000,000 isn't a nuisance settlement.

Now, lets take a further step back, and remember that the settled suit
isn't for shareholder damages due to poor decisions or anything of that
nature - it's for employee wages lost due to illegal and unethical
anti-solicitation agreements.  The companies involved deny breaking the
law, but even four tech giants aren't going to give away $415,000,000 out
of the goodness of their hearts, and the publicly available documents make
it entirely obvious that if it had gone to trial there would have not been
a good outcome for the companies involved.  Let's reframe 'employee wages
lost due to illegal and unethical anti-solicitation agreeements' one more
time.

You played a fundamental role in stealing $415,000,000 from your employees
and the employees of three other companies.  Even though you have a
skillset that WMF needs, that is absolutely incompatible with the honorable
duties of a trustee, out of line with the fundamental values of the
Wikimedia movement, and even more problematic at a time when cultural
matchup between the Board and everyone else is in greater doubt than at any
other time in the history of Wikimedia.

Resign. Please.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:55 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It's unfair of anyone to expect Arnnon to comment about the legal case or
> the circumstances surrounding it. I'm sure he has a stack of legal advice
> and corporate policies that specifically prevent him from answering Todd's
> questions or others. Even though I don't support the corporate collusion
> that he apparently participated in, I'm starting to feel sympathetic to
> Arnnon for what the Board has put him through and for the criticism and
> scrutiny he will continue to suffer for as long as he remains on the Board.
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Kevin Gorman
In reply to this post by Mike Peel
Mike, the assumption of good faith goes right out the window as soon as the
company you work for has agreed to pay the Department of Justice nine
figures due in significant part to your actions, and your private emails
showing your intent have been released by a federal judge. AGF is a
rebuttable presumption, and it's hard to think of a set of facts that would
serve to rebut it more effectively.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> RIP AGF.
>
> (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assume_good_faith <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assume_good_faith> needs work!)
>
> Mike
>
> > On 26 Jan 2016, at 21:11, Lilburne <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > On 26/01/2016 20:27, Pine W wrote:
> >>
> >> While I realize that staying on may be your personal preference, I
> believe
> >> that for the good of WMF and for our collective movement, you should
> resign.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > A quote from history would have been more succinct:
> > http://quotationsbook.com/quote/29200/
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Sydney Poore
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Hello Arnnon,

What you describe as an *inspirational* experience, I see as an extremely
painful event to watch as it damages the Wikimedia Foundation and the
wikimedia movement.

Please keep in mind that you and the Board are not the only people who are
living through this situation.

I doubt that I'm alone in thinking that no matter the positive skills and
traits you bring to the Board, the questions your appointment raise are a
massive distraction to some important current matters such as the WMF
annual plan and strategy.

Forgive me if I don't share your enthusiasm for working through the issues
your appointment is causing the wikimedia movement.

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
On Jan 26, 2016 3:08 PM, "Arnnon Geshuri" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>
>
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>
>
>
> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
> contributors, and users.
> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>
> Regards,
> Arnnon
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Hi Arnnon,

Did you provide information regarding your involvement in the
antitrust litigation to someone during the WMF selection process?

If not, why not?

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Ben Creasy
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Arnnon Geshuri <ageshuri@...> writes:

>>>>>

Hi Arnnon - nicely worded message! I can't imagine that you're feeling too great
right now, but I want to give you a little hope. Wikipedia can be a forgiving
place - many have been blocked and banned only to return later for second or
third chances. We take who we can get, because we can't afford to be too picky.

If you're really looking to prove yourself, we are in a weird way fortunate.
Some of the appointed (and even nonappointed) board members don't seem highly
engaged with the English Wikipedia, and you're actually facing the consequence
of board neglect of the community right now. My concern with someone like
yourself, given that you don't seem to have prior interest in Wikipedia, is that
you're actually looking for little extra conversation filler when you're rubbing
elbows with powerful folks at cocktail parties. I hope you prove me wrong. Jimbo
Wales gets a lot of flak, but I appreciate the fact that he's there on
Wikipedia. I prefer him over someone who is basically "phoning it in" once or
twice a year.

So, the "SF Bay" group of Wikimedians could use some extra love. I gather you're
not too far from San Francisco? I've been in San Francisco for a year and I
think I missed one or two meetups, but that's not very many and I hear DC is
much more active. When I went to the 15th anniversary meetup, there were a fair
number who had never edited and most of the veterans had never been to an
editathon (and neither have I). I collected as many emails as I could, but I
imagine you'd have more connections of potential new volunteers -
let's connect and try to get a regular (even as rare as quarterly or twice a
year) meetup/editathon happening in San Francisco. I've done a fair bit of
editing on corporate governance and nonprofits, and I'd be happy to show you
around.

I understand that the antitrust settlement is, in the scheme of corporate
scandals, somewhat mild. It's not Arthur Andersen and Enron or subprime
mortgages. Although people do go to prison for antitrust violations (which is in
some cases a felony, per the Sherman Act), this case didn't involve criminal
charges. Despite what the textbooks say, I believe it's difficult to succeed as
an executive without being unethical. In picking my battles I've been a part of
things I'm not proud of even in my limited career.

Power does funny things to people. It's been shown that powerful people are 3
times as likely to help a stranger in distress.[1] Powerful people focus on
the rewards and take risks but they lack broader perspective and can easily
objectify people or ignore social norms or laws, as we see over and over with
executives.

We need a powerful person on Wikipedia's board to help steer them towards
sensible decisions. The board's judgment seems to be lacking, especially when
they made the remarkably poor decision (for their reputation) to spark this
controversy by removing James even though he was upholding their odd omerta by
not leaking to the community the 90% disapproval of the executive director among
staff and the new (yet to be fully revealed) partnership with the Knight
Foundation. In the end, it's actually worked out for the best since it sparked
a conversation that needed to happen.

I'm not sure you're the powerful person who can pull WMF out of this ditch, but
if you are, I'd say a worthwhile step would be to take a shot at getting your
hands dirty in the trenches of Wikipedia as an editor and join me in trying to
recruit volunteers in the Bay. Plus James should be appointed back to his
rightful place on the board.

[1]
https://web.archive.org/web/20080908051020/http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/
news/whatsnew/mbaupdate08.htm


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Ricordisamoa
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Although it can be argued whether Arnnon's reassurance will be enough to
let him stay safely on Board for two whole years, there's little doubt
that public debate will finally benefit from knowing his viewpoint.

Il 26/01/2016 20:07, Arnnon Geshuri ha scritto:

> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>
>
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>
>
>
> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
> contributors, and users.
> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>
> Regards,
> Arnnon
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
If this was an article on Wikipedia it would already have been tagged for a speedy delete.
Too little, too late, and looks like 100% spin.
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Arnnon Geshuri
Sent: Tuesday, 26 January 2016 9:08 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying around convictions, and open disagreement.


Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that, throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices evolve over time as circumstances change.



As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors, contributors, and users.
As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the community and even the most energetic community members come from a place of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.

Regards,
Arnnon
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Michael Snow-5
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
Hello Arnnon,

It is good to hear something directly from you. I am sure your
intentions in the position you were appointed to are positive and
supportive. Yet while you may be entirely sincere in your desire to
help, I find it extremely difficult to see a path forward in which your
contribution will bring the benefits that may have been contemplated.

Your statement here carries very much the right tone, but is
unfortunately rather lacking in substance. About the events in your
career that have been the focus of so much concern, you suggest that
there have been misconceptions and mitigating considerations, but say
nothing about what those misconceptions or mitigating considerations
might be. I fully understand that for both legal and ethical reasons,
you may not feel free to elaborate, and I do not ask that you violate
any such obligations. However, the inability to provide more information
is itself a major handicap for the role you are in. In fact, a
requirement of silence becomes doubly destructive because it both
provides more fuel for conspiracy theories and denies the Wikimedia
Foundation the tools to respond effectively.

I suspect that many of the possible mitigating factors have already been
touched on by others - from the limited picture we have of the
recruiting practices in question, it is not completely clear what level
of responsibility should be assigned to you, whether you could
reasonably have done otherwise in your position, or to what extent you
should have understood their legal implications. Nor do I believe that
one mistake (you do not say it was a mistake, and presumably again you
are not in a position to admit that, whether or not you might wish to)
should necessarily disqualify anybody from the Board. However, as Asaf
so eloquently explained on this list a couple weeks ago - which I hope
you saw, if you've been following the conversation as you say - it's
nearly impossible to get people to leave things fully in the past
without an acknowledgment of the mistake. I understand you want to earn
the trust of the community. But if you cannot do what is needed for this
trust to develop, then you simply will never be able to earn it from
many people. This is another way in which silence becomes disabling. You
might manage for people to move on enough that you can function in your
role, but the issue will continue to hang over everything you do.

The Board has indicated that you were appointed for your expertise in
human resources. I agree that your career includes some impressive
experience and you would be a highly qualified candidate in that sense.
I can also appreciate why the Board might have felt a need for your kind
of expertise. While the Foundation was at a somewhat different point
during my tenure, it has faced a variety of challenges in this area, and
these types of issues were prominent in my thinking about the
organization, both as Chair and afterward. But under the circumstances,
I struggle to see how your appointment would lead to a net benefit for
the Foundation. Your skills and contacts might bring something that is
lacking, but the problematic pieces of your background also reflect
directly on the same area. Considerations such as staff morale have
fluctuated over time, but I cannot imagine how having someone associated
with these practices on the Board would be anything but a negative
influence on it. Whether they would acknowledge it to you, the rest of
the Board, their managers, or anyone at all really, I think this is an
extremely serious problem. It seems like it would take an incredible
amount of good work from you to overcome the damage your mere presence
on the Board is likely to cause.

I do hope you can translate your passion for this movement into some
sort of positive contribution. Assuming you cannot speak directly to
your personal history in a way that will satisfy people, I hope you will
at least try to explain more clearly what you anticipate bringing to the
table. In the context of this particular appointment, however, it is a
heavy weight you would need to counterbalance, and there may be other
and better ways of approaching this.

--Michael Snow

On 1/26/2016 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri wrote:

> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how amazing
> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>
>
> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>
>
>
> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.  Wanting
> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in
> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate
> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
> contributors, and users.
> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating the
> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from
> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>
> Regards,
> Arnnon
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Kat Walsh-4
I was considering whether to comment again on this thread, but with
this message I do not have to; I think it lays everything out
sensitively and thoughtfully, and I agree with everything in it.

-Kat


On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:39 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Arnnon,
>
> It is good to hear something directly from you. I am sure your intentions in
> the position you were appointed to are positive and supportive. Yet while
> you may be entirely sincere in your desire to help, I find it extremely
> difficult to see a path forward in which your contribution will bring the
> benefits that may have been contemplated.
>
> Your statement here carries very much the right tone, but is unfortunately
> rather lacking in substance. About the events in your career that have been
> the focus of so much concern, you suggest that there have been
> misconceptions and mitigating considerations, but say nothing about what
> those misconceptions or mitigating considerations might be. I fully
> understand that for both legal and ethical reasons, you may not feel free to
> elaborate, and I do not ask that you violate any such obligations. However,
> the inability to provide more information is itself a major handicap for the
> role you are in. In fact, a requirement of silence becomes doubly
> destructive because it both provides more fuel for conspiracy theories and
> denies the Wikimedia Foundation the tools to respond effectively.
>
> I suspect that many of the possible mitigating factors have already been
> touched on by others - from the limited picture we have of the recruiting
> practices in question, it is not completely clear what level of
> responsibility should be assigned to you, whether you could reasonably have
> done otherwise in your position, or to what extent you should have
> understood their legal implications. Nor do I believe that one mistake (you
> do not say it was a mistake, and presumably again you are not in a position
> to admit that, whether or not you might wish to) should necessarily
> disqualify anybody from the Board. However, as Asaf so eloquently explained
> on this list a couple weeks ago - which I hope you saw, if you've been
> following the conversation as you say - it's nearly impossible to get people
> to leave things fully in the past without an acknowledgment of the mistake.
> I understand you want to earn the trust of the community. But if you cannot
> do what is needed for this trust to develop, then you simply will never be
> able to earn it from many people. This is another way in which silence
> becomes disabling. You might manage for people to move on enough that you
> can function in your role, but the issue will continue to hang over
> everything you do.
>
> The Board has indicated that you were appointed for your expertise in human
> resources. I agree that your career includes some impressive experience and
> you would be a highly qualified candidate in that sense. I can also
> appreciate why the Board might have felt a need for your kind of expertise.
> While the Foundation was at a somewhat different point during my tenure, it
> has faced a variety of challenges in this area, and these types of issues
> were prominent in my thinking about the organization, both as Chair and
> afterward. But under the circumstances, I struggle to see how your
> appointment would lead to a net benefit for the Foundation. Your skills and
> contacts might bring something that is lacking, but the problematic pieces
> of your background also reflect directly on the same area. Considerations
> such as staff morale have fluctuated over time, but I cannot imagine how
> having someone associated with these practices on the Board would be
> anything but a negative influence on it. Whether they would acknowledge it
> to you, the rest of the Board, their managers, or anyone at all really, I
> think this is an extremely serious problem. It seems like it would take an
> incredible amount of good work from you to overcome the damage your mere
> presence on the Board is likely to cause.
>
> I do hope you can translate your passion for this movement into some sort of
> positive contribution. Assuming you cannot speak directly to your personal
> history in a way that will satisfy people, I hope you will at least try to
> explain more clearly what you anticipate bringing to the table. In the
> context of this particular appointment, however, it is a heavy weight you
> would need to counterbalance, and there may be other and better ways of
> approaching this.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
>
> On 1/26/2016 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri wrote:
>>
>> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
>> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how
>> amazing
>> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
>> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
>> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
>> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
>> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
>> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
>> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
>> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>>
>>
>> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
>> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
>> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
>> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
>> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
>> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
>> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>>
>>
>>
>> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
>> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
>> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
>> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.
>> Wanting
>> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
>> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks
>> in
>> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and
>> appreciate
>> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
>> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
>> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
>> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
>> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
>> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
>> contributors, and users.
>> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
>> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
>> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
>> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
>> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
>> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
>> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
>> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating
>> the
>> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak
>> from
>> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
>> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Arnnon
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Ziko van Dijk-3
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-5
I cannot word it better than Michael Snow, so I won't try.
Kind regards
Ziko

2016-01-27 8:39 GMT+01:00 Michael Snow <[hidden email]>:

> Hello Arnnon,
>
> It is good to hear something directly from you. I am sure your intentions in
> the position you were appointed to are positive and supportive. Yet while
> you may be entirely sincere in your desire to help, I find it extremely
> difficult to see a path forward in which your contribution will bring the
> benefits that may have been contemplated.
>
> Your statement here carries very much the right tone, but is unfortunately
> rather lacking in substance. About the events in your career that have been
> the focus of so much concern, you suggest that there have been
> misconceptions and mitigating considerations, but say nothing about what
> those misconceptions or mitigating considerations might be. I fully
> understand that for both legal and ethical reasons, you may not feel free to
> elaborate, and I do not ask that you violate any such obligations. However,
> the inability to provide more information is itself a major handicap for the
> role you are in. In fact, a requirement of silence becomes doubly
> destructive because it both provides more fuel for conspiracy theories and
> denies the Wikimedia Foundation the tools to respond effectively.
>
> I suspect that many of the possible mitigating factors have already been
> touched on by others - from the limited picture we have of the recruiting
> practices in question, it is not completely clear what level of
> responsibility should be assigned to you, whether you could reasonably have
> done otherwise in your position, or to what extent you should have
> understood their legal implications. Nor do I believe that one mistake (you
> do not say it was a mistake, and presumably again you are not in a position
> to admit that, whether or not you might wish to) should necessarily
> disqualify anybody from the Board. However, as Asaf so eloquently explained
> on this list a couple weeks ago - which I hope you saw, if you've been
> following the conversation as you say - it's nearly impossible to get people
> to leave things fully in the past without an acknowledgment of the mistake.
> I understand you want to earn the trust of the community. But if you cannot
> do what is needed for this trust to develop, then you simply will never be
> able to earn it from many people. This is another way in which silence
> becomes disabling. You might manage for people to move on enough that you
> can function in your role, but the issue will continue to hang over
> everything you do.
>
> The Board has indicated that you were appointed for your expertise in human
> resources. I agree that your career includes some impressive experience and
> you would be a highly qualified candidate in that sense. I can also
> appreciate why the Board might have felt a need for your kind of expertise.
> While the Foundation was at a somewhat different point during my tenure, it
> has faced a variety of challenges in this area, and these types of issues
> were prominent in my thinking about the organization, both as Chair and
> afterward. But under the circumstances, I struggle to see how your
> appointment would lead to a net benefit for the Foundation. Your skills and
> contacts might bring something that is lacking, but the problematic pieces
> of your background also reflect directly on the same area. Considerations
> such as staff morale have fluctuated over time, but I cannot imagine how
> having someone associated with these practices on the Board would be
> anything but a negative influence on it. Whether they would acknowledge it
> to you, the rest of the Board, their managers, or anyone at all really, I
> think this is an extremely serious problem. It seems like it would take an
> incredible amount of good work from you to overcome the damage your mere
> presence on the Board is likely to cause.
>
> I do hope you can translate your passion for this movement into some sort of
> positive contribution. Assuming you cannot speak directly to your personal
> history in a way that will satisfy people, I hope you will at least try to
> explain more clearly what you anticipate bringing to the table. In the
> context of this particular appointment, however, it is a heavy weight you
> would need to counterbalance, and there may be other and better ways of
> approaching this.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
>
> On 1/26/2016 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri wrote:
>>
>> It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from
>> representative members of the community.  My first reaction was how
>> amazing
>> the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest
>> dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an
>> overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another
>> fifteen years and beyond.   Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy
>> of the community is truly inspirational.  Although I would have preferred
>> the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I
>> deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying
>> around convictions, and open disagreement.
>>
>>
>> Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely.
>> That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are
>> mitigating considerations.  As a general matter, I will say that,
>> throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies
>> as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully
>> and consistently.  I have done so realizing company policies and practices
>> evolve over time as circumstances change.
>>
>>
>>
>> As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a
>> running theme within the online conversations related to trust.  Comments
>> were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board
>> and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member.
>> Wanting
>> to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks
>> speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks
>> in
>> the community.  I have more conversations in the coming days and
>> appreciate
>> those who have been generous with their time.  Given the story line that
>> has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from
>> my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board
>> members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their
>> trust in me.  I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the
>> important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors,
>> contributors, and users.
>> As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with
>> thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is
>> right.  I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit
>> careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a
>> Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade.  I
>> passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the
>> community and even the most energetic community members come from a place
>> of good intent.  And as we all become closer and transition to debating
>> the
>> issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak
>> from
>> the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best
>> intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Arnnon
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Kevin Gorman
In reply to this post by Ben Creasy
Hi Ben, Arnnon -

There will be at least two bay area editathons in March, which I'll
announce when I finalize the details of.  At least one of them is going to
be at least partially closed due to the nature of the host, but one should
be fully open... and Arnnon, you are invited to both of them.  I realize
full-well the board needs your skillset - really pretty badly - but don't
see a way right now you can possibly serve as a trustee.  I hold no grudge
against you and would be happy to see you at March's editathons and help
introduce you more directly to the community and editing Wikipedia about
subjects you're interested in... it's just really hard to see you
successful in a fiduciary role, and my doubts here are magnified by other
ongoing situations.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:16 PM, Ben Creasy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Arnnon Geshuri <ageshuri@...> writes:
>
> >>>>>
>
> Hi Arnnon - nicely worded message! I can't imagine that you're feeling too
> great
> right now, but I want to give you a little hope. Wikipedia can be a
> forgiving
> place - many have been blocked and banned only to return later for second
> or
> third chances. We take who we can get, because we can't afford to be too
> picky.
>
> If you're really looking to prove yourself, we are in a weird way
> fortunate.
> Some of the appointed (and even nonappointed) board members don't seem
> highly
> engaged with the English Wikipedia, and you're actually facing the
> consequence
> of board neglect of the community right now. My concern with someone like
> yourself, given that you don't seem to have prior interest in Wikipedia,
> is that
> you're actually looking for little extra conversation filler when you're
> rubbing
> elbows with powerful folks at cocktail parties. I hope you prove me wrong.
> Jimbo
> Wales gets a lot of flak, but I appreciate the fact that he's there on
> Wikipedia. I prefer him over someone who is basically "phoning it in" once
> or
> twice a year.
>
> So, the "SF Bay" group of Wikimedians could use some extra love. I gather
> you're
> not too far from San Francisco? I've been in San Francisco for a year and I
> think I missed one or two meetups, but that's not very many and I hear DC
> is
> much more active. When I went to the 15th anniversary meetup, there were a
> fair
> number who had never edited and most of the veterans had never been to an
> editathon (and neither have I). I collected as many emails as I could, but
> I
> imagine you'd have more connections of potential new volunteers -
> let's connect and try to get a regular (even as rare as quarterly or twice
> a
> year) meetup/editathon happening in San Francisco. I've done a fair bit of
> editing on corporate governance and nonprofits, and I'd be happy to show
> you
> around.
>
> I understand that the antitrust settlement is, in the scheme of corporate
> scandals, somewhat mild. It's not Arthur Andersen and Enron or subprime
> mortgages. Although people do go to prison for antitrust violations (which
> is in
> some cases a felony, per the Sherman Act), this case didn't involve
> criminal
> charges. Despite what the textbooks say, I believe it's difficult to
> succeed as
> an executive without being unethical. In picking my battles I've been a
> part of
> things I'm not proud of even in my limited career.
>
> Power does funny things to people. It's been shown that powerful people
> are 3
> times as likely to help a stranger in distress.[1] Powerful people focus on
> the rewards and take risks but they lack broader perspective and can easily
> objectify people or ignore social norms or laws, as we see over and over
> with
> executives.
>
> We need a powerful person on Wikipedia's board to help steer them towards
> sensible decisions. The board's judgment seems to be lacking, especially
> when
> they made the remarkably poor decision (for their reputation) to spark this
> controversy by removing James even though he was upholding their odd
> omerta by
> not leaking to the community the 90% disapproval of the executive director
> among
> staff and the new (yet to be fully revealed) partnership with the Knight
> Foundation. In the end, it's actually worked out for the best since it
> sparked
> a conversation that needed to happen.
>
> I'm not sure you're the powerful person who can pull WMF out of this
> ditch, but
> if you are, I'd say a worthwhile step would be to take a shot at getting
> your
> hands dirty in the trenches of Wikipedia as an editor and join me in
> trying to
> recruit volunteers in the Bay. Plus James should be appointed back to his
> rightful place on the board.
>
> [1]
>
> https://web.archive.org/web/20080908051020/http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/
> news/whatsnew/mbaupdate08.htm
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

Wiki Billinghurst
In reply to this post by Arnnon Geshuri
I appreciate that you have responded to the community outcry, though I
fear that the flowery rhetoric was not only lost on me, it also seems
to be obfusacting on the serious matters raised. The substantial
matters themselves rated a direct mention or a skerrick of
acknowledgement.

I believe that the community has clearly expressed that while you may
have a significant HR/P&C background, the dark shadow that you drag
into the Wikimedia is not one which a sizeable proportion of
interested and knowledgeable participants believes outweighs a clear,
untarnished integrity [1]

From your people management background, you cannot seriously have us
believe that

And you may be the fall guy / scapegoat / ...for the board's
short-sighted appointment / inexacting process / evident lack of
diligence; however, that may be the role that you need to take so that
the Board can get the clear air to regain the trust that it has lost.
Until that time we peasants may well be revolting.  Who knows, this
time maybe we can create a white-out, rather than a black-out.[2][3]
Risk-denial, risk-blindness and obstinacy are not traits that I see as
valuable in members of boards.

Further, I believe that there would surely be candidates with similar
people management credentials who don't have the dead weight. That
they may not have worked for Google, be male, or be in the Bay area
may be a problem, ... oh no ... maybe not!

Be pragmatic, it is clearly time for pragmatism. Please resign, as at
this time the hole has been dug by you and others has broken through
to the other side you have no base, there is no real return.

Regards, Billinghurst


[1]  https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Requests_for_comment/Vote_of_no_confidence_on_Arnnon_Geshuri/sig&oldid=15282351
currently running at 263 no confidence votes, compared to 21.  noting
that ref includes significant number of voices of clear reason and
office holders, senior and highly trusted volunteers within the WMF
movement who have a demonstrated history of intent, and integrity.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_SOPA_and_PIPA
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative

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