This post was edited on November 5, 2015, to clarify Terry’s role as an interim COO, based on the original announcement to the Wikimedia-l mailing list.
Like wikis themselves, the Wikimedia Foundation changes. Today, we have two announcements of changes in Foundation leadership. We are pleased to announce that Terry Gilbey has joined the Wikimedia Foundation in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Executive Director Lila Tretikov. The second is that our Chief Talent and Culture Officer, Gayle Karen Young, has decided to move on to her next adventure. We are thankful for her time with us, and wish her well.
Introducing a Chief Operating Officer
At the Wikimedia Foundation, our mission is to empower people around the world to create and share free knowledge. One of our top priorities for the Wikimedia Foundation in 2015 is improving our organizational effectiveness in service of this mission. We created the role of Chief Operating Officer to focus on that goal. As interim COO, Terry will be responsible for building rigor and discipline around the Foundation’s operational processes, empowering us to adapt and innovate.
Terry is transitioning to the COO role from a consulting role with the Foundation. He has already worked with us on a number of projects around goal-setting, financial planning, and budgeting. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Enterprise Operations at Kaiser Permanente, a nationwide healthcare organization, and served in various management roles at IBM Global Services.
Terry is originally from England and has lived in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Central America. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also spends time in Panama on a rural farm. He enjoys some unusual hobbies, such as bull riding, surfing, riding motorcycles and more recently, refereeing a women’s flat track roller derby. An early adopter of Tor, Terry believes strongly in the right to privacy and the free and open access to knowledge as an equalizer.
With the introduction of the COO role, we are also making some organizational reporting changes. Beginning this week, our Finance, Administration, and Culture and Talent teams will report to Terry. Garfield Byrd will continue to serve as the Chief Financial Officer for the organization, a member of the C-level team, and Treasurer of the Board. Terry and Garfield will manage all financial and business planning activities together.
It is with sadness that we say farewell to Gayle Karen Young, our Chief Talent and Culture Officer. Gayle has been with the Wikimedia Foundation for three and a half years, and has brought us wisdom and warmth on a daily basis. In her time with the Foundation, she created a human resources department that is fundamentally about caring for the people in the organization and offering services that allow people to do their best work.
Gayle let us know some time ago that she was looking to move on to her next challenge. With the introduction of the COO role, she felt this was the right moment in time and the human resources team were in good hands. We thank her for her leadership, celebrate her future adventures, and are grateful she plans to continue as a volunteer in the Wikimedia movement.
Our mission is to help Wikimedians around the world make the sum of all knowledge available to everyone. We believe these changes will help us progress toward this mission, and focus on our continued service to our community and readers.
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation