JOB DESCRIPTION

Chief Technology Officer

Wikimedia Foundation

Reports to: Katherine Maher, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Location: San Francisco, CA or Remote (U.S. based)

The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a creative, collaborative, forward-thinking Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to join our executive team. As a member of the organization’s leadership team and senior technology executive, the CTO will lead the development and execution of the technical platform strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia projects, in partnership with our global communities of volunteers, contributors, users, and researchers. Our vision is for “every human being to share in the sum of all knowledge”, and our platform is essential to that vision.  

As CTO, you will be responsible for the evolution, development, and delivery of our core platform and architecture. You have run a highly trafficked content driven website before and have a track record in being able to deploy, maintain, and upgrade world- wide, enterprise-level infrastructure. You will have a deep understanding of open source development practice and emerging technologies, and the ability to anticipate and incorporate relevant developments into our technical roadmap. You will be passionate about mentoring and developing exceptional and diverse talent and teams.

We’re looking for a leader who is driven by our mission, animated by our values, and passionate about building for the future. You should have a truly global worldview, embrace transparency and stewardship in your work and communications, and thrive in lean and complex environments. You should be energized by the opportunity to continue to drive the growth of the world’s fifth most popular web platform, available in around 300 languages, written by millions of contributors, and visited around 6,000 times a second by roughly 1.5 billion devices every month.

As CTO, we’d like you to do these things:

Strategic leadership

  • Work with the Foundation’s executive team to act and think in service of the future of the Wikimedia vision, projects, contributors, and readers. Lead the iteration, growth, and future development and growth of highly complex enterprise-scale technology infrastructure. Oversee essential architectural evolution and the development of a comprehensive platform and infrastructure strategy for Wikimedia’s technical ecosystem, services, and tooling.
  • Develop a creative and viable vision and structure for the technology department that supports overall organizational strategy. In collaboration with key stakeholders, produce integrated and forward-looking approaches to platform, product, research, machine learning, and technical community.

Technical expertise

  • Develop medium and long-term technical roadmaps and goals. Anticipate scale and capability challenges, and communicate clear proactive plans to address these challenges.
  • Own and drive technical organization integrity, efficacy, and excellence. Establish and oversee proven and scalable development and execution processes in software, technical operations, and architecture.
  • Lead development of key performance metrics such as site availability and responsiveness, bug response time, code review response time, etc., and ensure consistent improvement along these metrics.
  • Advance a first-class platform developer experience for internal and external audiences.
    • Ensure engineering productivity standards that support technical excellence, from code health and test coverage to deployment and integration.
    • Grow a diverse, global community of volunteer open source technical contributors across all aspects of the Wikimedia technical ecosystem.

Operational management

  • Support the technology leadership team across diverse areas of specialization, including software engineering, site reliability engineering, research, security, machine learning, analytics engineering, fundraising infrastructure, performance, delivery, and product development.
  • Oversee the success of regular planning and budgeting processes.
    • Work closely with internal partners and department leadership to transform priorities and requirements into specific objectives, products, and services.
    • Develop effective plans for existing and future technology expansion, direct resources appropriately, and drive to completion.
  • Oversee effective personnel operations including hiring, development, and performance management.

Team leadership

  • Serve as a compelling advocate for the Wikimedia movement, mission, and values in internal, community, and external fora. Participate in relevant conferences and Wikimedia community convenings, including some international travel.
  • Cultivate a culture of excellence and empowerment. Design and enact organizational structures that support clear communication, nimble and effective execution, and shared ownership and accountability around goals.
  • Recruit, mentor, and coach diverse leaders in the technology organization. Foster a welcoming, collaborative, and inclusive working environment.

We’d like you to have this experience and these skills:

  • 7+ years in strategic- and executive-level technical and operational leadership
  • Proven ability to set vision and strategy for technology and operations.
  • Experience collaborating on the development of technical roadmaps for architecture, operations, and security at top-tier scaled platform or applications with significant data management and content delivery needs. Experience leading efforts to modernize a legacy platform a plus.
  • Substantial experience with building and establishing infrastructure for large web properties using FLOSS components and their challenges, and awareness of modern and relevant technologies/developments.
  • Experience building and running complex, multi-disciplinary development teams and developing diverse talent pipelines
  • A track record of quickly building consensus and respect among large, dispersed stakeholder groups in a highly collaborative, transparent environment.
  • Experience managing large budgets and planning cycles, creating systems for creative and sustainable workflows, and effecting high impact improvements to resiliency and efficacy
  • Significant experience navigating complex international organizations, movements, or networks. Informed cultural sensitivities, intellectual curiosity, and a deep passion for the Wikimedia mission
  • Clear and effective communication skills for diverse settings and audiences. Ability to broker relationships across non-technical and external teams, and to promote a culture of excellence and mutual accountability.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including limited weekends, and travel internationally as needed.

And it would be even more awesome if you had the following:

  • Experience managing international teams across multiple time zones
  • Experience leading international volunteer developer communities
  • Experience as a FLOSS project maintainer (in contrast to contributor)
  • Experience working on technical projects in non-US markets, or on products and platforms designed for non-US consumers
  • Experience volunteering or coordinating volunteer communities, including an understanding of the challenges and opportunities within transparency, participation, and social decision-making
  • Understanding of the opportunities that collective online collaboration present to a large scale web operation and to the Wikimedia projects in particular.
  • Experience with internet culture and policy issues, including: freedom of expression, open culture/free culture, the free and open source software movement, online surveillance, privacy and security
  • Big thumbs ups if you are a contributor to Wikipedia
  • A well-loved passport

The Wikimedia Foundation is…

….the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts.

We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive.

Wikimedia is the world’s fifth most popular digital platform, used in everything from secondary education to advanced computational research. Each month, around a billion people visit the Wikimedia sites, to learn about topics ranging from classical music to Bollywood stars to quantum mechanics. 

While Wikipedia is the largest and best-known of the Wikimedia projects, it is only one part of our work.  Other widely-used projects include Wikimedia Commons, which contains more than 40 million free media files, and Wikidata, an open structured and linked data repository with nearly 50 million items. We are also the primary developer of MediaWiki, a free and open source collaborative software platform. Wikimedia is:

  • Available in around 300 languages;
  • Written by 250,000 monthly contributors;
  • Visited 6,000 times on average each second;
  • By roughly 1.5 billion devices every month.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply

 

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent directly to our partner firm, Terrain Advisors, for the search.  

Contact information:

Mark Jacobson, mark@terrainadvisors.com

Patrick Burke, patrick@terrainadvisors.com

Liana Grossman, liana@terrainadvisors.com

 

More information

Wikimedia Foundation website

Wikimedia Foundation blog

Annual Report - 2017

Wikimedia 2030

 

Apply for this Job

* Required

File   X
File   X


U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at Wikimedia Foundation are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. You are being given the opportunity to provide the following information in order to help us comply with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action record keeping, reporting, and other legal requirements.

Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.


Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 1/31/2020

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities1. To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

If you already work for us, your answer will not be used against you in any way. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we are required to ask all of our employees to update their information every five years. You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

How do I know if I have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Schizophrenia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)
Reasonable Accommodation Notice

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.