Wikimedia Foundation is hiring a

Chief Technology Officer

San Francisco, United States

The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a 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 technical roadmap for the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia projects, in cooperation with our global communities of volunteers contributors, users, and researchers.

The CTO is responsible for the evolution, development, and delivery of our core platform and architecture. They 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. They can evaluate complex information, provide recommendations, engage diverse constituencies in decision making, and develop and execute on effective plans of action. They have a record of success and progressive responsibility for budgets and teams.

The ideal candidate has experience contributing to or supporting global free software or free culture projects, and engaging free software contributors to produce high-quality, widely adopted software. They empower their team and communicate effectively. They embody and promote the Wikimedia vision and values, and our commitment to providing freely-available knowledge for all.

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: San Francisco, CA or Remote



  • Develop, inspire, and coach the technology leadership team across software engineering, technical operations, research, and product development. Mentor the technology group in operationalizing the overall strategy into specific objectives, products, and services, to deliver high quality software in support of our global mission.
  • Grow and build highly complex technology infrastructure. Anticipate technology scale and capability challenges, and communicate clear proactive plans to address these challenges. Work closely with tech leads and operations to resource key technology initiatives, and drive them to completion for existing and future technology expansion.


  • Help grow a global and diverse community of technical contributors, and enable them to accelerate technology development for the Wikimedia movement beyond paid Wikimedia Foundation staff
  • Own and drive technical organization integrity: achieve status as a recognized technology leader by using proven and scalable execution processes (e.g. agile) in development, technical operations, and architecture. Work closely with product management to transform requirements into technical specifications and software designs.
  • Create a healthy collaboration environment with shared ownership and commitment around product development goals. Work with the rest of the executive team to develop and communicate top-level goals.
  • Design and implement an effective organizational structure, that supports maximum communications and effective execution of technology initiatives. Work closely with project management to transform priorities and requirements, into plans that optimize resources and set appropriate expectations.


  • Oversee 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.
  • Formalize budgets, goals, and balance priorities in technology organization

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience stepping into established technical organizations, quickly gaining respect, and methodically optimizing the development practices to make them more robust and effective.
  • Proven ability to set the vision and strategy for technology and operations, and to produce an effective roadmap. Comfortable with technology scale and associated architectural challenges, and experience proactively addressing them.
  • Experience with large-scale, global internet technologies.
  • Understanding of the FLOSS ecosystem product lifecycle.
  • Deep understanding of the challenges that web analytics, mobility and collective online collaboration present to a large scale web operation - and to the Wikimedia Foundation in particular.
  • Familiarity with free software technologies that can be used to overcome those challenges (e.g. Varnish, Apache, Memcached, MySQL, PHP, Node.js, Python, Hadoop, Elasticsearch and a broad range of FLOSS components).
  • A proven track record in leading teams to build APIs and analytics into platforms, as well as development and integration of Mobile.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to broker relationships across non-technical and external teams, and to promote a culture of self-start and accountability.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish rapport and trust.
  • Experience with online communities

About the Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 431 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property worldwide. Available in more than 287 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 32 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants. The Wikimedia Foundation was created in 2003 to manage the operation of Wikipedia and its sister projects. It currently employs over 240 staff members. Wikimedia is supported by local chapter organizations in 40 countries or regions.

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, massages, cooking classes, 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.
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program.
  • 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.
  • International staff speaking dozens of languages from around the world.
  • Fantastic intellectual discourse.
  • Mission-driven and intensely passionate people.

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

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