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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation
Hoi,
It is always sad to learn that someone who is appreciated as much as Mike
is, is leaving. I hope he will be happy in his future activities.

I want to thank Mike for the work that he has done. My contacts with Mike
have always been positive so I feel it as a loss.
Thanks,
Gerard

On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi folks,
>
> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
> Foundation. Mike’s transition out of the role will be a fairly lengthy
> one: he will continue to be available to the Wikimedia Foundation to
> provide information and advice for several months to come.
>
> The search for his successor will begin immediately. It's being
> conducted by the recruiting firm m|Oppenheim.
>
> There's a detailed Q and A below that I hope will answer any questions
> you've got.
>
> Thanks,
> Sue
>
>
> Why is Mike leaving the Wikimedia Foundation?
>
> Mike leaving the Wikimedia Foundation is a confidential personnel
> issue, and the Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t talk about confidential
> personnel issues with anyone except the people directly involved. We
> want to handle this kind of thing with respect for people’s privacy
> and dignity, and we are hopeful we can do that in this instance. That
> means, we’re not going to answer this question, and we hope you will
> understand why.
>
>
> Is Mike leaving the Wikimedia Foundation because of a change in
> direction or policy, related to our legal context?
>
> No.
>
>
> Is Mike leaving the Wikimedia Foundation over a point of principle?
> For example, because the Wikimedia Foundation wants to do something
> that he disagrees with, or because it doesn’t want to do something
> that he thinks it should do?
>
> No. We’re not aware of any significant differences of opinion between
> Mike and the Wikimedia Foundation, in terms of values, principles,
> ethics, future plans, or anything like that.
>
>
> Is Mike leaving the Wikimedia Foundation because he did something
> egregious?
>
> Not at all. The Wikimedia Foundation believes Mike has always acted in
> what he believes to be the Wikimedia Foundation’s best interests.
>
>
> What is Mike going to do next?
>
> We don’t know what he’ll end up doing next, but we wish him all the
> best, and we hope that he will continue to do the same kind of work
> he’s always done -- helping to advance people’s online freedoms. We
> think he’s really good at that work, and we hope it’s what he
> continues to do.
>
>
> I like Mike, and I know that it’s a tough economy. Can I ask what the
> Wikimedia Foundation is doing to ensure that Mike is okay while he
> figures out his next steps?
>
> Yes. The Wikimedia Foundation and Mike have figured out severance that
> we all hope will protect Mike and give him time to think about what he
> wants to do next. The terms of the severance are confidential: we
> won’t talk about them now, or in the future. But you can rest assured
> that the Wikimedia Foundation wants to see Mike continue working to
> advance people’s online freedoms: everybody would like to see him
> continue making an important contribution.
>
>
> How will a new General Counsel be recruited?
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation has hired m|Oppenheim to help us recruit a
> new General Counsel. m|Oppenheim has done great work for us in the
> past: they helped us recruit Zack Exley, Barry Newstead and Cyn
> Skyberg, and they are currently helping us find a Director of
> Technical Operations. We’ve been happy with them, and we’re confident
> they’ll be able to help us successfully recruit a new General Counsel.
>
>
> Who will be involved in the hiring process and how will it work?
>
> Currently, m|Oppenheim is developing a job description for the role.
> To that end, they’ve spoken with a number of board members, the
> Executive Director, and some of the senior staff. At the same time,
> m|Oppenheim is also developing a list of people to contact who might
> be interested in the role, or who might know people who would be.
> (This list includes people at all kinds of ideologically-like-minded
> organizations, such as the EFF, Berkman, our Advisory Board, and so
> forth, as well as people at large internet companies such as Google,
> eBay, etc.) That “connector” list is being developed in consultation
> with several board members, the ED and senior staff. By October 22nd,
> m|Oppenheim expects to have the job description posted publicly, and
> will begin generating a list of potential candidates.
>
> Once a candidate pool is developed, interviews will be held. The
> interviewing process will likely include at a minimum Sue Gardner,
> Erik Moeller, Cyn Skyberg, Kat Walsh, Arne Klempert, and Barry
> Newstead. There will probably also be others involved (e.g., possibly
> additional board members, and possibly additional members of the
> senior staff), but that’s the skeleton plan we have right now. We will
> also aim to get a sampling of the legal needs of various stakeholder
> parties such as chapters, probably by asking m|Oppenheim to interview
> two or three chapters representatives and other relevant stakeholders.
>
>
> If I am interested in the role, or know someone who might be, what should I
> do?
>
> We welcome applications, and we also welcome ideas about where we
> might find good candidates. Feel free to get in touch with Lisa
> Grossman at m|Oppenheim, at lisag@moppenheim.com. She’d be glad to
> hear from you.
>
>
> Will the new General Counsel job description be significantly
> different from Mike’s?
>
> No. m|Oppenheim is having conversations with stakeholders about the
> General Counsel role, and will update the job description based on
> those conversations. But we don’t expect the resultant job description
> to be substantially different from the existing one.
>
>
> What is the gist of the General Counsel job?
>
> Our General Counsel role is slightly unusual, in that it has a bit of
> a double focus. First, the Wikimedia Foundation (and the Wikimedia
> movement) are ideologically-motivated -- or if you prefer,
> values-driven/agenda-driven. That means we need a lawyer who shares
> Wikimedia’s ideological agenda: who, for example, supports people’s
> right to access information online unimpeded by censorship, and who
> supports a legal context that enables people to work collaboratively
> online to develop educational and informational materials for other
> people to read. And second, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)3
> non-profit organization based in the United States that operates
> international web properties, and interacts with non-American chapter
> organizations. To that end, we need a lawyer who can be responsible
> for all the legal terrain implied by that: somebody who understands
> the legal issues relevant to the operation of a big website, to the
> operation of a US-based non-profit organization, to the legal transfer
> of funds among various international entities, and so forth. Clearly
> no single person can be an expert in all of that. Which tells us that
> we need a General Counsel who is 1) ideologically-aligned with our
> work, and 2) capable of effectively outsourcing specialized legal work
> to others, and ensuring it gets done well, consistent with our vision,
> values and goals.
>
>
> How long will it take before there is a new General Counsel in place?
>
> We’re expecting a new General Counsel would likely start work sometime
> in January. It’s possible the search would take longer, and we won’t
> hire anyone until we have a candidate we’re happy with. But past
> searches suggest to us that we can likely expect the search to wrap up
> in January, or shortly afterward.
>
>
> Who will look after the Wikimedia Foundation’s legal interests in the
> interim?
>
> We’re currently talking with outside counsel that we’ve worked with in
> the past to establish an interim presence to help us during the
> General Counsel search time frame. We should have that in place by the
> end of this week.
>
>
> If I get a legal complaint or have a question that in the past I would
> have forwarded to Mike, where should I now be sending it?
>
> All legal information should be submitted in the same way that you are
> doing so now: any changes to the process will be handled further
> downstream.
>
>
> Is it dangerous, for the Wikimedia Foundation to be legally exposed
> during this period?
>
> Obviously it would be ideal for us to have a General Counsel in place
> consistently, with no interruption, and we wish that Mike had been
> able to agree to stay on with us during the recruitment process.
> Having said that, we’ve taken steps to protect Wikimedia, and we
> believe we will be well-protected in the interim period. We believe
> that because 1) the Wikimedia movement in general has developed some
> pretty solid legal understanding over the years, which includes robust
> processes for handling legal threats and problems of various kinds.
> There is a good infrastructure for handling certain types of legal
> risks, that’s not entirely dependent on a General Counsel for
> day-to-day operations. 2) Over the past several years, we’ve developed
> good relationships with a number of lawyers with specific
> subject-matter expertise that we need. Those relationships will be
> helpful for us in the interim period until a new GC arrives. 3) For
> the transition period, we are lining up a good generalist lawyer, who
> we’ve worked with in the past, and who has agreed to be the Wikimedia
> Foundation’s single-point-of-contact for support until there’s a new
> General Counsel in place. And 4) Mike has agreed to be available to
> the Wikimedia Foundation for advice and support, for many months to
> come. So all in all, we think the risk has been acceptably mitigated.
>
>
> How was this Q and A document developed?
>
> This document was written mostly by Sue Gardner, with some help from
> Cyn Skyberg. It was reviewed in detail by Mike, and he's agreed to
> have it published.
>
>
> Why was this Q and A document developed?
>
> We know that whenever someone leaves the Wikimedia Foundation, there
> are always lots of questions. And we know that people have sometimes
> been dissatisfied with how short and uninformative our answers are. We
> sympathize with people who want to know what’s going on. This Q and A
> is an attempt to balance Mike’s right to privacy, against people’s
> desire to understand what’s going on, particularly because Mike is in
> a high-profile role, and is well-known inside the Wikimedia community.
> We wouldn’t have published it without Mike’s permission.
>
> In general, when people leave the Wikimedia Foundation, they make the
> decision about how much to say, when and to whom. So you should
> assume, whenever anyone leaves, that what’s being said is what they’re
> comfortable with: no more, no less.
>
>
> If I have additional questions that aren’t answered here, where should
> I take them?
>
> If you have questions about the General Counsel role, please feel free
> to ask them in any regular forum (e.g., foundation-l, internal-l) and
> Sue or someone else will get them answered.
>
>
>
> --
> Sue Gardner
> Executive Director
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> 415 839 6885 office
> 415 816 9967 cell
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
> On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
>> Hi folks,
>>
>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
>> Foundation.

I'd like to thank Mike for everything. Since the nature of the job
means sometimes you can't talk about everything you're doing (and a
substantial part of your interaction with people is when something has
gone wrong), he may not have gotten all the public appreciation he
deserves for his work, but he has really been a great champion of the
foundation and the movement, and guided WMF through a major expansion
and some truly crazy situations. I have tremendous respect for Mike as
an advocate and a person, and I wish him the best.

-Kat

--
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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM, Kat Walsh <kat@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi folks,
>>>
>>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
>>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
>>> Foundation.
>
> I'd like to thank Mike for everything. Since the nature of the job
> means sometimes you can't talk about everything you're doing (and a
> substantial part of your interaction with people is when something has
> gone wrong), he may not have gotten all the public appreciation he
> deserves for his work, but he has really been a great champion of the
> foundation and the movement, and guided WMF through a major expansion
> and some truly crazy situations. I have tremendous respect for Mike as
> an advocate and a person, and I wish him the best.
>
> -Kat
>
> --


I'm with Kat; the unusual nature of the announcement here might put
off the normal response when a long term Foundation employee departs,
but in my observation Mike has done a great job in a tough position.
I'm looking forward to hearing about his next role, and I hope it
involves some public interaction so we can continue to benefit from
his intelligence and sharp wit.

Nathan

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
The best of luck and wishes for Mike, and a big thanks, Mayo

2010/10/20 Nathan <nawrich@gmail.com>

> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM, Kat Walsh <kat@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >> On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Hi folks,
> >>>
> >>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
> >>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
> >>> Foundation.
> >
> > I'd like to thank Mike for everything. Since the nature of the job
> > means sometimes you can't talk about everything you're doing (and a
> > substantial part of your interaction with people is when something has
> > gone wrong), he may not have gotten all the public appreciation he
> > deserves for his work, but he has really been a great champion of the
> > foundation and the movement, and guided WMF through a major expansion
> > and some truly crazy situations. I have tremendous respect for Mike as
> > an advocate and a person, and I wish him the best.
> >
> > -Kat
> >
> > --
>
>
> I'm with Kat; the unusual nature of the announcement here might put
> off the normal response when a long term Foundation employee departs,
> but in my observation Mike has done a great job in a tough position.
> I'm looking forward to hearing about his next role, and I hope it
> involves some public interaction so we can continue to benefit from
> his intelligence and sharp wit.
>
> Nathan
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
Again Kat found the right words. Thank you very much Mike for all the
works you have done. I cannot remember how often I had to ask you about
problems from copyright issues to BLP issues alone related with zh-wp.
And all best wishes from me.

Ting

At 20.10.2010 18:39, wrote Kat Walsh:
>> On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner<sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi folks,
>>>
>>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
>>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
>>> Foundation.
> I'd like to thank Mike for everything. Since the nature of the job
> means sometimes you can't talk about everything you're doing (and a
> substantial part of your interaction with people is when something has
> gone wrong), he may not have gotten all the public appreciation he
> deserves for his work, but he has really been a great champion of the
> foundation and the movement, and guided WMF through a major expansion
> and some truly crazy situations. I have tremendous respect for Mike as
> an advocate and a person, and I wish him the best.
>
> -Kat


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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
I would also like to add my gratitude to Mike for his years of useful
service. It is hard to imagine who could be a suitable replacement.

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Ting Chen <wing.philopp@gmx.de> wrote:
> Again Kat found the right words. Thank you very much Mike for all the
> works you have done. I cannot remember how often I had to ask you about
> problems from copyright issues to BLP issues alone related with zh-wp.
> And all best wishes from me.
>
> Ting
>
> At 20.10.2010 18:39, wrote Kat Walsh:
>>> On 19 October 2010 19:45, Sue Gardner<sgardner@wikimedia.org>  wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi folks,
>>>>
>>>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
>>>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
>>>> Foundation.
>> I'd like to thank Mike for everything. Since the nature of the job
>> means sometimes you can't talk about everything you're doing (and a
>> substantial part of your interaction with people is when something has
>> gone wrong), he may not have gotten all the public appreciation he
>> deserves for his work, but he has really been a great champion of the
>> foundation and the movement, and guided WMF through a major expansion
>> and some truly crazy situations. I have tremendous respect for Mike as
>> an advocate and a person, and I wish him the best.
>>
>> -Kat
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
On 21 October 2010 20:18, Robert Rohde <rarohde@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would also like to add my gratitude to Mike for his years of useful
> service.  It is hard to imagine who could be a suitable replacement.


Having been privileged to see some of the breathtaking thngs Mike
pulled off for Wikimedia that cannot as yet be spoken of, I can only
hope that he has a memoir stored up for release in thirty years ...


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
Very sad to hear of Mike leaving; he's a charismatic lawyer.

I used to get a kick out of telling people that we have *the* Godwin
on board. I am going to take it for granted that "do you have an
internet meme and law named after you?" will be one of the key
questions when recruiting the next legal counsel.

- bnb

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
Mike Godwin will be missed by the WMF. It's a fact that he never lost a
case in this position with the WMF.

H.N.
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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
Sad news. I remember an office hour with Mike Godwin, competent and
sympathetic.
Best wishes
Ziko


2010/10/22 Houston Navarro <houstonnavarro@gmail.com>:
> Mike Godwin will be missed by the WMF.  It's a fact that he never lost a
> case in this position with the WMF.
>
> H.N.
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>



--
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Niederlande

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
hah, can we pre-order?

I would also like to add my voice to those offering appreciation for all
your good works, Mike.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Gerard" <dgerard@gmail.com>
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike
Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation


> On 21 October 2010 20:18, Robert Rohde <rarohde@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I would also like to add my gratitude to Mike for his years of useful
>> service. It is hard to imagine who could be a suitable replacement.
>
>
> Having been privileged to see some of the breathtaking thngs Mike
> pulled off for Wikimedia that cannot as yet be spoken of, I can only
> hope that he has a memoir stored up for release in thirty years ...
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 3:45 AM, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Hi folks,
>
> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
> Foundation.
> ...snip...
> The search for his successor will begin immediately. It's being
> conducted by the recruiting firm m|Oppenheim.
> ...snip...
> --
> Sue Gardner
Just a matter of inquiry, why didn't the search start when Mike handed
in his notice, compared to now when he has left? With a role like this
wouldn't it make sense to have it refilled as soon as possible to give
the best chance of a change over period?
-Peachey

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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
K. Peachey wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 3:45 AM, Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>>
>> I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike
>> Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia
>> Foundation.
>> ...snip...
>> The search for his successor will begin immediately. It's being
>> conducted by the recruiting firm m|Oppenheim.
>> ...snip...
>> --
>> Sue Gardner
> Just a matter of inquiry, why didn't the search start when Mike handed
> in his notice, compared to now when he has left? With a role like this
> wouldn't it make sense to have it refilled as soon as possible to give
> the best chance of a change over period?
> -Peachey

I think it's clear in the original announcement that this isn't a "clean
break", but will be phased pending appointment of a replacement for Mike.




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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: Mike Godwin leaves the Wikimedia Foundation [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Houston Navarro
<houstonnavarro@gmail.com> wrote:
> Mike Godwin will be missed by the WMF.  It's a fact that he never lost a
> case in this position with the WMF.

I believe he's never lost a case in his life.

Of course, I haven't either ;).

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