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Moscow-born Lila Tretikov becomes executive director of Wikimedia Foundation

0 19 May 2014

Moscow-born Lila Tretikov has been made executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, responsible for overseeing the work of Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikiquote, as well as other wiki-projects.

The nonprofit organisation, based around the major internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia, has announced that the post of executive director will be filled by Lila Tretikov, former senior manager at SugarCRM. From the first of June Tretikov will replace current executive director Sue Gardner, taking up the role for the next 7 years. Gardner will remain at the organisation in an advisory capacity. 

Tretikov will be responsible for the administration of Wikimedia.org, as well as overseeing strategy and performance. In response to her appointment, she described Wikipedia as “the sum of all human knowledge, freely accessible to all”. 

She is challenged with making the work of the encyclopaedia more transparent, and according to Jay Walsh, the organisation’s press secretary, this will be her top priority. In October 2013 Wikipedia blocked around 250 entries which contained counterfactual information posted by writers to promote personal financial interests. “We never have and never will agree with using the site for advertising,” said Walsh. The organisation also plans to concentrate on improving the mobile version of the encyclopaedia. 

After graduating from Moscow State University, Lila Tretikov moved to the USA, continuing her studies at Berkeley. Over the next 15 years she worked at various tech companies, mainly involved in open source software. She began working for Sun Microsystems in 1999, founding the company GrokDigital soon after, which specialised in IT marketing, and spent 3 years as senior development director at Telespree. She moved to SugarCRM around 8 years ago.

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